Lutein, a nutrient found in various foods including green leafy vegetables and egg yolk, has a ten-year history in the dietary supplement market as a nutrient to reduce the risk of age related macular degeneration (ADM). With eye health as its main spot, the lutein market is currently estimated to be worth in the region of US$100m and $130m. Like other lutein ingredients on the market, the lutein is extracted from marigold flowers and, according to the company, their ingredient is a stable, natural powder with a purity of 90 percent. The "reddish orange yellow" powder also contains some zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin. Cactus Botanics' Carol Chung told NutraIngredients-USA.com that production capacity for the ingredient is 600 kg per month, and North America and Europe are the targets markets for this ingredient. Chung claimed that the purity of the product is higher than other marigold extracts on the market, and has been confirmed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) against a working standard from Sigma. While marigold continues to be the preferred source of the carotenoid, researchers from India recently proposed that an alternative source could be the microalgae Botryococcus braunii with a chloroform-methanol mixture leading to the recovery of 7.56 micrograms of carotenoids per milligram of algae, of which 75 per cent was lutein (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (Vol. 54, pp. 4593-4599). Microalgae are currently farmed as a source of carotenoids such as astaxanthin. For example, Algatechnologies has been producing the carotenoid from the microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis in closed culture for some years. However, leading lutein producers told NutraIngredients-USA.com that they believed marigold was the most commerciably viable source for the carotenoid.