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May 22, 2019
dividerNews ArchivedividerExtracting Natural Pigments with Nutritional and Pharmaceutical Values from Native Micro-Algae
Extracting Natural Pigments with Nutritional and Pharmaceutical Values from Native Micro-Algae
Extracting Natural Pigments with Nutritional and Pharmaceutical Values from Native Micro-Algae

   Researchers at Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institute of Iran successfully developed an extraction protocol for Phycocyanin pigment from native strains of Spirulina microalgae utilized as natural pigment in food industries and dietary supplement.

     Dr. Maryam Shahbazi, Scientific Member of ABRII and project’s leader, claimed that Phycocyanin pigment, which is developed from Cyanobacteria especially from Spirulina, with florescent and anti-oxidant properties in food industries, has been widely utilized as a natural color in several countries around the world. Improving production, extraction and purification of Phycocyanin can expand its application in various fields.

     She asserted that the successful production of algae biomass with high amounts of Phycocyanin depends on several conditions including algae’s growth, accumulation of pigments, production technology and process efficiency. Accordingly, the conducted project studied the various methods of extraction including osmotic shock, freezing and utilization of chemicals. Moreover, different stages of purification were compared and studied. Finally, after isolation, purification and condensation, edible Phycocyanin pigment was developed in highly healthy form using a safe method, which allows its competition in the international marketplace.

     Phycocyanin pigment is utilized in food and cosmetics industries as a natural edible blue color with antioxidant properties; furthermore, it is used in pharmaceutical industries as an anti-inflammation and anti-cancer medicine and also it is used as florescent markers.

      Dr. Shahbazi reiterated that Phycocyanin natural pigment along with having desirable biological properties in comparison to chemical and synthetic colors, can be considered as a totally safe substance. The feasibility study showed that the final cost of the product is 30 percent lower compared to the imported ones through utilizing the suggested method of this study. Additionally, the method is three times faster in comparison to conventional methods such as salting out of proteins using Ammonium Sulfate. Utilization of non-toxic compounds is considered to be one of the advantages of this protocol, which is effective in establishing the color and longer maintaining its stability.

Photographed by: Sina Motamed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 


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