Farmed salmon’s color
Farmed salmon’s color has long been a topic of debate. The orange hue has been attributed, based on speculation, to numerous different dyes or pigments. One of the pigments correctly named was Astaxanthin. This substance is actually a very powerful antioxidant, which is also a carotenoid pigment widely found in plants. Astaxanthin is the source of color for not only salmon in the wild, but crustaceans such as shrimp, crabs, and lobsters as well. Astaxanthin is mixed into the Salmon’s feed and is the cause for the orange colored meat found both in the wild and at the farms. Astaxanthin is naturally derived from algae, which is a main food source for small fish and krill, the pigment is then passed along the food chain to Salmon and crustaceans. In conclusion, the pigment in wild and farmed salmon comes from the presence of astaxanthin in their feed.