As we all know, one of the distinguishing qualities of salmon is its salmon-colored meat. But farmed salmons get that color thanks to a chemical compound that is supplied to them. This compound gives to salmon meat its typical color, bu ìt it also helps them in being healthy.
The color of the farmed salmon meat
We are what we eat! Wild salmon eat shrimp and krill, which contain chemical compounds called carotenoids. One of the chemicals in this compound is astaxanthin, which gives salmon that distinctive reddish-pink color.
However, without shrimp and krill in its diet, farmed salmon would actually have white meat. So, fish farmers add astaxanthin to the diet of farmed salmon. They did so because otherwise customers wouldn’t buy their salmons.
Consumers buy what they know and what they like. They don’t go to the store to buy white salmon.
Moreover, pink salmon sells better, and it’s the most popular fish in America also because of its color.
The bebefits of astaxanthin
In addition to adding color, astaxanthin is essential to keep farmed salmon healthy.
Astaxanthin provides vital health benefits for salmon. It has 100-500 times the anti-oxidant capacity of vitamin E and prevents degradation of fat cells, which is crucial in protecting cold-water species like salmon.
Astaxanthin also helps with fertilization, cellular respiration, and immune system functions.