Why are carrots orange

The main type of carrots that we see everywhere nowadays are orange, but orange is not the only color that carrots are of, in fact there are red, purple yellow and even white carrots. Although it may seem strange, but before the 17th century, orange carrots were rare in the western world. It was only during the 17th century that the Dutch cross-bred different carrots to create orange carrots to honor William of Orange, and then it was marketed with such success that soon orange carrots became the most available form of carrots till date. This of course, is only a theory among a bunch of others.

The theory of Heywood 1983 stated that the western orange carrot was cultivated from the gene pool of eastern yellow carrots, wild white carrots and other species of the Dausus carota from Europe and the Mediterranean. There is a theory also which states that Orange carrots originated actually from Asia Minor and the southern part of the Europe. There are so many theories about the origin and beginning of orange carrots, that it is confusing and the confusion only increases when you realize that most of these theories are unconfirmed.

Beta Carotene is the reason why a carrot is orange. Carotene is a color pigment that is found in large quantities in carrots and it has health benefits as well. The main health benefit of carotene is that our body converts it into vitamin A which is essential. However, beta carotene is associated with a growth in the chance of developing lung cancer among smokers by scientists after sufficient data was collected through observation, to support the theory.

All of these carrot roots, be it yellow, purple or red, attribute their colors to various carotenoids. Carotenoids are present in almost all the leaves, fruits or flowers. The function of these pigments may vary depending on their origin, but they all impart color onto the place that they are found in and that is one thing which all the carotenoids everywhere have in common.