This review reports and discusses all available information about the fungal carotenoids such general characters, derivatives, common names, chemical structure, molecular formula, color, bioactivity, and industrial applications in medicine, pharmacology, food processing, cosmetics, dyeing and others. It also reviews the classification of the fungal carotenoids, biosynthetic pathway, distribution and function inside the fungal cells. Approximately, 34 fungal carotenoids derivatives are widely distributed in fungal genera species and fungal groups. Fermented carotenoids produce by fungi from agro-industrial wastes have many advantages and solve the production problems. Development of the fungal carotenoids productivity is reported by two main strategies such as metabolic and genetic engineering.
Key words: Fungal carotenoids, natural pigment, applications, bioactivity.
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