On January 2016, a new study conducted by the researchers from the University Of Arizona College Of Pharmacy, have found that a compound found in annatto called Bixin may also prevent skin cancer.
According to the researchers the compound prevents skin damage caused by ultraviolet radiation to occur and cancer cells from forming. Over the coming years bixin may be useful in the treatment and prevention from various human skin cancers.
Previously scientists have acknowledged that a gene expression in the skin, regulated by a transcription factor called NRF2, contains protective mechanisms against sunlight.
Bixin is found in a natural food additive annatto. It is a deep red orange substance. Annatto is derived from the seeds of achiote fruit and is extensively used in Latin America as an ingredient in cooking.
The researchers for the experiment have used two groups of mice to UV radiation. The first group received bixin through injection and another group did not. After the experiments the researchers found that the group containing bixin sustained lesser skin damage from the sun when compared to the other group. The researchers concluded that bixin does not kill cancer cells but it actually prevents cancer from developing. Bixin makes the cells develop protective antioxidants and repair factors.
The researchers in the future would like to find out if the compound bixin have similar effects on humans as it did to mice. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has considered annatto as a safe food additive for the human consumption.
In order to satisfy consumer demand and to increase the sales of products there is need for more product engineering and technological advancement efforts to overcome the current challenges faced by the companies. Mainly, small and medium sized firms in order to maintain their position in the market requires continuous investment in R&D activities to develop innovative new products. Thus, in future more research and development of new sources and technique will not only increase new market opportunities but also bring in rich gains.
Further studies on bixin may can also determine that other food items with annatto can also protect skin from the damage caused by the sun and prevent skin cancers and aging in humans. Thus, increasing applications of carotenoids is in turn driving the growth for carotenoids market.