Arka Shubha – New Marigold Variety Developed

12 February 2021 Current Affairs:The Indian Institute of Horticulture Research (IIHR) has developed a new marigold variety called Arka Shubha.

♦ The carotene content of Arka Shubha is about 2.8% (for all marigolds, it’s maximum upto 1.4%), the highest of all plant sources.
♦ This new variety of marigold can be used to extract crude carotene even if it deteriorates after blooming, which is different from other varieties.
♦ Extraction of Ornamental and Carotene: This new variety not only has ornamental purposes, but is also a good source of crude carotene.
Poultry Feed: Its petals can be used as poultry feed to obtain high-quality egg yolks.
Reduce Import Dependency: India imports most of the carotene from other countries including China. This development can greatly reduce import dependencey. Therefore, the cultivation area and investment in carotene extraction should be increased.
Key Facts About Carotene: Carotene is a carotenoid pigment that does not contain oxygen. Generally, they are unsaturated hydrocarbons containing only carbon and hydrogen. The colors varies from yellow to orange to red. The color is attributed to chain of alternating single and double bonds. Carotene is responsible for the orange color of carrots. Alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lycopene are examples of carotene. Carotene is used in the pharmaceutical industry and the demand for it has been high.

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