Arka Shubha – New Marigold Variety | UPSC – Why In The News ?
- The Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR) has developed a new marigold variety named Arka Shubha.
- The carotene content of Arka Shubha is about 2.8% (for all marigolds, it’s maximum upto 1.4%), the highest of all plant sources.
- This new variety of marigold can be used to extract crude carotene even if it deteriorates after blooming, which is different from other varieties.
Extraction of Ornamental and Carotene:
- This new variety not only has ornamental purposes, but is also a good source of crude carotene.
- Its petals can be used as poultry feed to obtain high-quality egg yolks.
Reduce Import Dependency:
- India imports most of the carotene from other countries including China.
- This development can greatly reduce import dependence.
- Therefore, the cultivation area and investment in carotene extraction should be increased.
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Key Facts About Carotene:
- Carotene is a carotenoid pigment that does not contain oxygen.
- Generally, they are unsaturated hydrocarbons containing only carbon and hydrogen.
- The colors vary from yellow to orange to red.
- The color is attributed to a chain of alternating single and double bonds. Carotene is responsible for the orange color of carrots.
- Alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lycopene are examples of carotene.
- Carotene is used in the pharmaceutical industry and the demand for it has been high.