Wondering Why?

Why is Salmon Pink?

Why is salmon pink?

Salmon are species of fish that were born in fresh water but are now invading the ocean. However, almost all salmon return to fresh water to reproduce. Salmon can be seen in Pacific and North Atlantic Ocean. This kind of fish is edible and is usually produced for daily consumption and restaurant menus.

Salmon when raw usually has a pink color. This makes it very attractive to cook. The reason why salmon is pink can be traced back to the food it eats. It usually consumes tiny shrimps having red pigments on the shell. Since salmon eats too much of this, the red pigment is also absorbed by the salmon giving it the pinkish color. The crustaceans that salmon eat are usually colored orange or red so when these crustaceans are eaten, the m eat are digested but the dyes are taken in and remains in the meat of the salmon.

Salmon is a mobile animal. It can stay in ocean then it can also travel to fresh water for reproduction. Because of this, salmon needs enough protection to be able to survive in the changing environment. Since there is greater demand for oxygen once the salmon is transferred from the ocean to the fresh water, there is a special substance within the salmon that serves as antioxidant power. This substance is called astaxanthin which is also found in our body but most richly in seafood. The astaxanthin is being stored in the bodies of salmon to avoid the damage caused by reactive oxygen species which are produced when salmon goes a stressful journey from the sea to the rivers. This astaxanthin is responsible for the pinkish color of the salmon and the color becomes darker once the salmon matures. The salmon has this natural way of producing this pigment for it to cope with the changing environment.

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