Why do boiled crabs turn red?Unraveling the Mystery of Shellfish’s Colors

Have you ever wondered why crabs that are blue, brown or gray when alive turn a bright red color once cooked? There is actually a magical chemical reaction behind this.

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Why do crabs have astaxanthin?
You might be wondering, since astaxanthin makes crabs more visible to predators, why does it have this pigment? In fact, this may be a genetic residual feature, because not all shellfish need to camouflage themselves during the long evolutionary process. Moreover, astaxanthin is not completely useless. It has similar properties to seaweed and prevents parasites from attaching to the crab’s shell. So, without astaxanthin, not only will the cooked crab look unappealing, but it may also have a lot of parasites.

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