Sources of vitamin A
Vitamin A can be obtained from animal sourced food (liver, fish oils, dairy products). This preformed vitamin A is called retinol or retinal. The “Provitamin A” carotenoids are fat-soluble molecules from animal and plants sources. Dark-green leafy vegetables as well as deeply colored yellow and orange fruits and vegetables are a relevant source of provitamin A.
After absorption, carotenoids are converted enzymatically to active retinol, a process regulated by the individual’s vitamin A status. Vitamin A activity depends on absorption and bioavailability in its active form as retinol, retinal and retinoic acid. Absorption of preformed vitamin A and carotenoids depends on their solubilization in a lipid matrix, which is often insufficient in raw vegetables and fruit.
What makes BASF’s vitamin A products unique?
Our vitamin A products have outstanding quality and excellent purity. The superior dispensability simplifies the handling and processability for flexible batch sizes and production planning. Furthermore, BASF´s vitamin powder products possess best-in-class stability, flowability and dispersability properties due to our superior formulation and microencapsulation technology.
All vitamin products are compliant with regulations and specific quality requirements in early life nutrition and comply with the major monographs (USP, Ph. Eur. and others).
Production of vitamin A
BASF is a leading supplier of vitamin A. Besides our straight vitamins, BASF also offers several grades of vitamin blends (e.g. vitamin A, E, D3).
Vitamin A is one of the most widely known vitamins. Our vitamin A is used in several applications such as dietary supplements, clinical and medical nutrition products as well as food and beverage products.
With our Food Fortification initiative, we are working against vitamin A deficiency in several countries. For that we cooperate with organizations to fortify staple foods such as oil, flour or sugar.
Vitamin A has critical biological functions. In the eye, retinol and retinal mediate the visual cycle and the integrity of the cornea. Retinol is important for cell differentiation, the female reproductive system, embryonic development and vitamin A supports growth and functionality of skin and mucous membranes through interaction with nuclear factors. Vitamin A is essential for unspecific and specific immune, and in impeding Alzheimer's, diseases.
More information about vitamin A is available upon request.