Phycocyanin, a super functional ingredient from algae; properties, purification characterization, and applications

Tolulope Joshua Ashaolu, Katarzyna Samborska, Chi Ching Lee, Merve Tomas, Esra Capanoglu, Özgür Tarhan, Bengi Taze, Seid Mahdi Jafari*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


Phycocyanins (PCYs) are a group of luxuriant bioactive compounds found in blue-green algae with an estimated global market of about US$250 million within this decade. The multifarious markets of PCYs noted by form (e.g. powder or aqueous forms), by grade (e.g. analytical, cosmetic, or food grades), and by application (such as biomedical, diagnostics, beverages, foods, nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals), show that the importance of PCYs cannot be undermined. In this comprehensive study, an overview on PCY, its structure, and health-promoting features are diligently discussed. Methods of purification including chromatography, ammonium sulfate precipitation and membrane filtration, as well as characterization and measurement of PCYs are described. PCYs could have many applications in food colorants, fluorescent markers, nanotechnology, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries. It is concluded that PCYs offer significant potentials, although more investigations regarding its purity and safety are encouraged.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2320-2331
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • Applications
  • Health benefits
  • Phycocyanins
  • Purification
  • Structural classification


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