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Accessory pigments are light-absorbing pigments such as carotenoids and phycobilins that serve as complements to chlorophyll in plants, algae and bacteria by trapping light energy for photosynthesis.

Some of these pigments in edible plants act as beneficial antioxidants when consumed by humans and other mammals. Thus, the more brightly-colored a fruit or vegetable is, the better it is likely to be for you.

Part of this writeup is based on work I did for the science dictionary at http://biotech.icmb.utexas.edu/

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