Accurate quantification of astaxanthin is an integral part of the quality control system in the production of this compound. It is essential for both producers and customers that the true amount of astaxanthin is stated on a product label. However, astaxanthin quantitative analysis is prone to high variability between laboratories. One reason for this is that astaxanthin is not a single molecule but a mix of geometrical variants (isomers).
An original study performed by the Quality Department of Algalif Iceland ehf. revealed that these astaxanthin isomers can transform into each other depending on the conditions of the analysis. The chemical behavior of astaxanthin greatly affects its quantification and explains poor between-lab reproducibility which impacts the whole astaxanthin industry.
The original paper is published in Molecules and accessible through the link.