Phycocyanin-A Natural Blue Pigment With Equal Value And Connotation
Natural blue is generally regarded as the “Holy Grail” of the beverage industry. Its bright color is no longer synonymous with melancholy, but has become the new favorite of fashion and health. For example, cyanobacteria latte powder, its blue color is derived from the natural ingredient phycocyanin.
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Phycocyanin is isolated from spirulina, so phycocyanin has a magical effect similar to spirulina. Phycocyanin can help regulate and synthesize a variety of important enzymes required for human metabolism. It plays an important role in inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, promoting human cell regeneration, maintaining ovaries, and promoting the synthesis of elastin in the human body. At the same time, phycocyanin regulates the human body. Immune system, enhance the function of the immune system, improve the body’s resistance to diseases. Especially in the special period nowadays, apart from taking good personal protection and developing good hygiene habits, we can also increase our own resistance by eating some health foods. Phycocyanin powder and spirulina products are definitely high-quality products. choose. Therefore, phycocyanin is hailed as a “food diamond” by food experts.
As consumers increasingly pursue a return to nature, the rise of “clean labels” has promoted the rapid development of natural pigments. According to Markets and Markets data, the global natural food coloring market is expected to be estimated at US$3.88 billion in 2018 and will reach a compound annual growth rate of 5.7% by 2023, reaching US$5.12 billion. Compared with synthetic food colorings, natural food colorings provide food processors with more choices, and many artificial coloring suppliers have also turned to natural coloring development plans.
At present, in addition to the sharp increase in demand for natural red pigments and natural yellow pigments worldwide, phycocyanin has an irreplaceable position as a natural blue pigment, and its market capacity is also very huge. The global market is expected to grow at an average annual growth rate of 50% from 2016 to 2020.
In addition to the function of natural pigments, phycocyanin can also be used as high-quality ingredients for functional foods. According to a Mordor Intelligence report, the global spirulina market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.3% between 2017 and 2022. For example, Smart-Chimp launched by a French company is an antioxidant water based on spirulina. The active ingredient phycocyanin not only provides the product with a fresh and bright blue color, but also makes the product have healthy functions such as preventing cell oxidation and stimulating the immune system.
Application of Phycocyanin
- Natural Colors for Food
As a pure natural pigment, phycocyanin has been widely used as a high-grade natural pigment in food and cosmetics in Europe, America, Japan and other countries at the beginning of the 21st century. Algae blue pigment is a natural blue pigment approved by the US FDA and is also listed as a color food raw material in the European Union, and its use is not restricted. my country’s GB2760 food additives catalog also uses phycoblue as a natural coloring agent, allowing it to be used in products such as candies, fruit and vegetable juices, flavored beverages, and jellies.
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- Cosmetics field
Phycocyanin is a collagen-like protein that has whitening, moisturizing, anti-allergic, and anti-freckle effects. For example, the French Oulanya and the domestic brand Danzi, which are well-known to female friends, have used phycocyanin raw materials in their customized cosmetics products to give the skin natural care while creating an ocean-like tone.
Medicine and health food field
Studies have confirmed that phycocyanin can scavenge free radicals. As a natural antioxidant, it can help eliminate cell damage, aging, and inflammation caused by harmful free radicals in the body. For example, in 2018, a new type of cyanobacteria product developed exclusively by Laboratoire Mergens SA in Switzerland-“Little Sapphire” Phycocyanin Oral Liquid, can repair liver damage caused by excessive drinking, and has certain effects on fatty liver and liver cirrhosis. Preventive effect.
In addition, because phycocyanin has fluorescence properties, its fluorescence effect is 30 times that of ordinary fluorescein, and can be used as a photosensitizer in some photodynamics such as biology and cytology; at the same time, as a photosensitive protein, it can also significantly promote Plant photosynthesis is stimulated by light energy at the same time to produce photosensitivity, thus making the product have antiviral and antibacterial effects. At present, a joint experiment conducted by the Beijing Academy of Agricultural Sciences and the Shandong Vegetable Research Institute shows that the phycocyanin extracted from Spirulina contains specific auxins.
The efficacy of phycocyanin
Phycocyanin can promote cell activity, scavenge free radicals in the body, improve ovarian function, and promote the rapid synthesis of elastin in the body. According to scientific research, phycocyanin can stimulate the formation of red blood cell colonies, similar to erythropoietin; it can adjust white blood cells and improve the activity of lymphocytes; increase physical fitness, promote the growth of red blood cells, enhance the immune function of the body, and promote growth and development.
And phycocyanin has also been shown to inhibit cancer cell expansion. Scientists have discovered that phycocyanin has the function of significantly inhibiting cancer cells. Can be made into anti-tumor adjuvant therapy drugs, adjuvant therapy with chemotherapy can enhance the body’s immunity.
In a scientific experiment, feeding rats with liver cancer with the extracted phycocyanin found that the survival rate of rats fed with phycocyanin was much higher than that of the control group. After 5 weeks, 90% of the rats in the treatment group Survived, but only 25% of the untreated group survived. After 8 weeks, 25% of the rats in the treated group survived, and all the rats in the untreated group died. This shows that oral phycocyanin can increase the survival rate of cancer-bearing organisms.
In addition to its anti-oxidant and anti-cancer and tumor effects, phycocyanin has at least three applications: natural food coloring, medical and health food, special reagents for biology, chemistry and cytology experiments.
① Phycocyanin is a water-soluble pigment, non-toxic, pure blue, and can be used as a food colorant and an additive in cosmetics.
② Phycocyanin in vitro experiments can stimulate the formation of red blood cell colonies, similar to erythropoietin. A variety of phycocyanin compound drugs have been successfully developed abroad. The Kangpai AIDS Research Institute of Japan has successfully reported that phycocyanin can improve anemia and increase hemoglobin. In 1982, Iijima et al. studied that oral administration of phycocyanin in mice increased the survival rate of mice injected with liver tumor cells, and the activity of lymphocytes in the experimental group was significantly higher than that of the control. They believed that the protein had the function of promoting immunity and anti-disease. In 1986, Schwartz and Shklar of Harvard Hospital in the United States discovered that spirulina phycocyanin has an inhibitory effect on some cancer cells.
③ Phycocyanin is blue and fluorescent, and can be used as a research reagent for photodynamics in biology and cytology.