Phycocyanin (Other names: Spirulina Extract,Spirulina Blue) is the natural blue colorant extracted from blue-green algea(spirulina). Not only bright colors, but in itself is a nutritious protein, amino acid composition range, high content of essential amino acids. Popular excellent as natural food coloring, and good health food. It is vividly called 'food diamond' by food experts.
Here some methods for identifying the Phycocyanin (Spirulina Extract,Spirulina Blue).
1. Odour : The natural phycocyanin has a similar odor of seaweed with a slight fishy odor. The chemical pigment is chemical dye and has a strong ink odor.
2. Discoloring by alkali : The water solution of phycocyanin is unstable to alkali. When PH>10, its blue color will become to colorless, but the chemical pigment will not.
3. Discoloring by high-temperature : The phycocyanin is a natural protein. So it will be inactivated and denatured by high-temperature, and the water solution will be darkened from bright blue. But the chemical pigment will not change color even if the solution is boiling.
4. Precipitation below the electric point: The water solution of phycocyanin will be turbid or precipitate when the PH is below PH4. But the chemical pigment will not.
5. Character: The Phycocyanin is a freeze-dried or heat-dried powder. Its particles texture is light and the particles shapes are irregular. But the texture of chemical pigment is fine, smooth and uniform.