Biology and others

Vegetable pigments

Pigments determine the color in vegetables. According to the predominance of pigments, the plant species will have the respective color.
The green color of the plants is mainly due to pigments called chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b. They are found practically in all the plants with seed, ferns, mosses and algae.
Associated with chlorophylls, there are also two kinds of yellow and orange-yellow pigments in chloroplasts, which are xanthophylls and carotenes.

Carotenoids are a group of very important pigments in vegetables that have functions antioxidants. These can be classified into two types:
1) Xantófilas
These chemicals belonging to the group of carotenoids have one or more oxygen atoms in their structure. This family of compounds corresponds to E-161.
Xantófilas are also found naturally in many plants, are pigmented compounds and also have photosynthetic action. These pigments, which are more resistant to oxidation than chlorophylls, give their yellowish and brownish tones to the dry leaves.
Among the most important xantófilas exist:
Lutein, zeaxanthin, capsanthin

2 ) Carotenes
They are hydrocarbons of red orange color, that form part of the pigment called chlorophyll and exist in addition, in great quantity in the cells of certain vegetal organs, like the petals of the flowers of the nasturtium and the root of the carrot.
Among the carotenes exist the following: - Betacarotenes, alpha-carotenes, lycopenes and cryptoxanthins.

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There is also a group of pigments called anthocyanins found in the protoplasm of many plant cells < / p>C4 plants and CAM

C4 plants initially use the enzyme PEP carboxylase (phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase), which converts phosphoenolpyruvate (3C compound) into oxalacetate (4C compound) from bicarbonate which is form by reaction of CO2 with water (facilitated by the presence of the carbonic anhydrase enzyme that catalyzes this reaction). PEP carboxylase has a very high affinity for bicarbonate, greater than RubisCO (ribulose bisphosphate carbixylase-oxygenase) by CO2. The name of this type of photosynthesis comes precisely from the fact that the first organic compound formed (oxalacetate) has 4 carbon atoms.

CAM (acid metabolism of Crassulaceae) is a type of metabolism that is discovered in the family of Crassulaceae. The name acid metabolism refers to the accumulation of organic acids at night by plants that possess this mechanism of carbon fixation. This metabolic pathway is similar to the C4 pathway, however in the CAM path the separation of the two carboxylations is not spatial, as in C4 plants, but is temporary.