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Production of the natural blue dye phycocyanin by the cyanobacterium Arthrospira
Book - Dissertation
Dyes are widely used to colour foodstuffs, cosmetics and textiles. Due to the increasing preference of the consumers to natural over synthetic dyes, sythetic dyes are being replaced by natural ones. Phycocyanin is a blue phycobiliprotein pigment produced commercially from the biomass of the cyanobacterium Arthrospira. It is used as a natural colorant in the food industry (mainly in candies and beverages) and can be potentially used in textile and paper industries. However, phycocyanin gradually loses its brilliant blue color when it's quaternary structure is degraded. This degradation can be caused by high temperatures and light intensity, very low/high pH and storage conditions. Therefore, the aim of my PhD is to develop a production process that maximizes the concentration of phycocyanin in Arthrospira biomass, minimizes losses of the pigment during dewatering and drying of the biomass, and at the same time maintain its stability and color.