Spirulina maxima, Arthrospira platensis, Arthrospira maxima

Phycocyanin acts as a light-capturing pigment for photosynthesis in microalgae and cyanobacteria such as spirulina. Beyond its physiological role for cyanobacteria, phycocyanin has interesting biological activities. In particular, it has been shown that this protein has one of the highest antioxidant activity currently referenced. Other activities may be of biomedical interest such as its anti-inflammatory or neuroprotective activities.

Food, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries are interested in this protein and obtaining extracts enriched with phycocyanin has therefore become a major challenge. Several techniques for extracting and purifying phycocyanin from spirulina or other microalgae exist, but they require large amounts of energy and often involve the use of reagents which complicate the critical step of purification. Obtaining a phycocyanin extract with high purity is thus only achieved by a combination of expensive purification techniques that are not transposable to industrial scales.

Bioval OI, with its recognized expertise in eco-extraction field, initiated a research project which led to the development of a simple and transposable process to extract and purify phycocyanin. In order to produce stable extracts, the phycocyanin is obtained in a natural preservative solution.