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Blue Spirulina aka Phycocyanin 💙 Phyco...whaaat? 👀

Hey, guess what?! Blue Spirulina is actually a component, a molecule of the same old green spirulina! It's the blue pigment called phycocyanin.

Blue? 🤨 But spirulina is green, dude! 😜

Yes, spirulina is green.💚 And also blue.💙

Spirulina is classified as cyanobacteria OR blue-green algae. It means they have both green pigments from chlorophyll and blue pigments from phycobiliproteins (and actually also the orange ones from carotenoids). 🥕🐰

One of the phycobiliproteins is the blue pigment phycocyanin, that most often is referred to as 'blue spirulina' although it is only a component of spirulina - the molecule that gives spirulina its blue color (which you can't see. 👀 But it's there. I swear ✝).

In the Far East people used phycocyanin as a natural coloring agent in cosmetics and food. As the quite known nutrition guru with a HUGE following David Avocado Wolfe 🐺🥑 says, phycocyanin is the only really blue pigment in nature. All others are simply combinations of reds and browns and purples which make the fruit look blue but actually in reality they are not. 😏

So Then Why Call Phycocyanin as Blue Spirulina? 

It is probable that such phrasing is used to introduce a new product with an association of a product that is already very well known. A phrase "blue spirulina" sounds more familiar and attractive than "phycocyanin" which kinda makes you think of suicidal thoughts (shout-out to cyanopotassium 🤟)

Also, there is a probability that such wording is used as an effective way by which phycocyanin is familiarized and characterized with spirulina so that to make it legal for marketing and consumption in the European Union.* 👀

 Whether a Familiarity or an Ingenious Trick but Phycocyanin does its job.

And does it good. 👍

Phycocyanin is used as a food coloring for bubble gum, dairy products, lipsticks and eyeshadows in Japan, China and Thailand. Phycocyanin is the most widely used blue pigment in food and biotechnology thanks to its fluorescence and antioxidative properties.

Free Radicals (talkin' about the molecular compounds here 🧪, not the revolutionists) are involved in many important processes in the body - in both good and bad. ☯ They are involved in digestion, absorbtion, breathing, wound healing processes etc., but excessive and uncontrolled quantities of free radicals is a is the basis for the onset of various diseases and disorders - inflammation, atherosclerosis and even cancer. Just like with fire - it is nice, warm and cozy until it becomes uncontrollable. 😒🔥

One way the body is affected and controlled by this process is through antioxidants, which are able to neutralize the uncontrolled proliferation of free radicals.

I mention this in the context of spirulina because spirulina has a very good antioxidant activity, being able to neutralize various types of free radicals. And it is phycocyanin that is the main component of spirulina, which is responsible for its antioxidant properties. And, yes, btw, the antioxidant activity of phycocyanin and almost equal to the activity of vitamin C. 🍋

Therefore, whether it is phycocyanin or blue spirulina - it does not matter how we call it. The key is to understand its effects and use it to your advantage. 🙂

Here's a potato. Almost. No. It's Phycocyanin 💙🧠

* EU regulations stipulate that foods or food ingredients which have not been used in food or food supplements in the territory of the Union before 15 May 1997 are considered as Novel Foods and must be subject to a Safety Assessment before being placed on the market, in accordance with the New Food Regulation 2015/2283.

https://ec.europa.eu/food/safety/novel_food/catalogue/search/public/index.cfm#

 

SOURCES:

(1) “Phycobiliproteins or C-phycocyanin of Arthrospira (Spirulina) maxima protect against HgCl2-caused oxidative stress and renal damage”
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2012.07.063

(2) “Preparation of phycocyanin microcapsules and its properties”
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fbp.2013.07.008

(3) “Iron-chelating ability and antioxidant properties of phycocyanin isolated from a protean extract of Spirulina platensis
doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2008.02.021

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