Carotenoids are naturally occurring organic pigments that are responsible for the distinct bright colors of many fruits and vegetables. Some of the more commonly encountered dietary carotenoids are ß-carotene, lycopene, lutein and astaxanthin. In addition to their role as plant pigments, carotenoids, for example, ß-carotene and lycopene, have been associated with health benefits in humans and animals, particularly in supporting the immune system.