Carotenoids are natural dyes synthesized by plants, algae and microorganisms. Application in many sectors can be found, as food dyeing and supplementation, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and animal feed. Recent investigations have shown their ability to reduce the risks for many degenerative diseases like cancer, heart diseases, cataract and macular degeneration. An advantage of microbial carotenoids is the fact that the cultivation in controlled conditions is not dependent of climate, season or soil composition. In this review the advances in bio-production of carotenoids are presented, discussing the main factors that influence the microbial production of these dyes in different systems
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