DIC Healthcare
HOME > About DIC Healthcare > Phytochemicals Color



Beautiful blue, yellow and green from Spirulina… brilliantly colored phytochemicals

Colorful Colorants in Spirulina

Phytochemicals (phytochemicals), which are used by vegetables and fruits to protect themselves from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, have excellent and useful effects and are said to have similar effects in our bodies. In addition to the five main nutrients, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals, which are essential for humans, dietary fiber is said to be the sixth nutrient. In recent years, phytochemicals have attracted attention as the “seventh nutrient.

Spirulina also contains pigments and phytochemicals that are essential for the functioning of the human body.
The colorful pigments found in Spirulina

【Blue】 <Phycocyanin>
One of the unique pigments related to photosynthesis found in blue-green algae, the main protein of Spirulina. It has a bright blue color. As a valuable plant-derived food colorant, it is used in frozen desert, confectionery, chewing gum and candy etc.

【Yellow】 <β-Carotene>
Carotenoid pigments. It changes to vitamin A when needed in the body. It is abundant in green and yellow vegetables such as carrots and spinach.
Carotenoid pigment found in eye’s retina. Rich in corn, spinach and egg yolk.

【Green】 <Chlorophyll>
A pigment essential for plant photosynthesis. It plays an important role in converting light energy into chemical energy (production of high-energy phosphate compounds such as ATP and GTP).

【Spirulina Hot Water Extract】
Using proprietary technology, we extract components from Spirulina via a hydrothermal process, then refine and concentrate these to make what is called Spirulina extract. This Spirulina extract is mostly composed of water-soluble health-related components such as polysaccharides and nucleic acids. Spirulina extract, with its high concentration of polysaccharides, is attracting tremendous attention for its potential as a functional ingredient.
The colorful pigments found in Spirulina

LINABLUE® – The blue colorant derive d from DIC Spirulina

What is LINABLUE®?

LINABLUE® is a natural blue food colorant of phycocyanin derived from DIC spirulina.By mixing with red, yellow and other colorants, it is possible to produce green, purple and other neutral colors. Like chlorophyll and carotenoid, phycocyanin takes part in photosynthesis.
Spirulina is a spiral-shaped type of microalgae around 0.3 to 0.5mm in size that came into existence around 3 billion years ago. Its shape has remained unchanged since the time it came into being and it was the first organism to create oxygen on the planet, which demonstrates what a hardy lifeform it is. Spirulina contains nutrients such as protein, vitamins, minerals and photosynthetic pigments. Due to the way it developed, Spirulina has properties found in animals and properties found in plants, which complement each other to make Spirulina a superb comprehensive nutritional supplement usable in health foods and other applications.

What is LINABLUE®?
Structure of phycocyanin
Structure of phycocyanin
Blue pigment of DIC Spirulina.

LINABLUE® exhibits stable properties.

LINABLUE® powder dissolves quickly in cold or warm water to make a homogeneously transparent solution.

2. pH stability
Its color shade is stable between pH 4,5 – 8,0. Aggregation and precipitation occur at around pH 4,2 as phycocyanin’s structure is combined with protein. Its stability is improved when used together with milk, egg or other ingredients containing protein.。

3.Heat stability
It is recommended to add LINABLUE® to a solution after it is cooled down. It can also be added to a solutiont hat is 60°C or cooler, but should be cooled down further immediately after adding in LINABLUE®. Its stability improves in high density sucrose solutions.

4.Light stability
Its color shade deteriorates when exposed to light, but when used together with an antioxidation agent like sodium ascorbate, its color stability is improved.

5.Solubility in alcohol
Precipitation occurs if used in 100% alcohol, but LINABLUE® can be dissolved in solutions with less than 20% alcohol.

6.Stability in the presence of metal ions
Although affected by trivalent metal ions such as Fe3+ and Al3+, this can be mitigated through the use of a sequestering agent.

Characteristics of LINABLUE®

1. There are two type products:Powder and Liquid type.The particle size of the powdered form is 40 mesh or smaller. The liquid form is dissolved in glycerin.

2. When dissolved in water, the color shade is vivid sky blue.

3.The wavelength of maximum absorbance ( max) is 618 nm, midway between the synthetic colorants Brilliant Blue FCF (FD&C Blue No. 1) and Indigo Carmine (FD&C Blue No. 2).
Absorption spectrum.
Absorption spectrum.

LINABLUE® Physical Properties

Thermal stability, alcohol stability, light stability, pH stability.

“LINABLUE®” Mixing experiment

Add 1 drop (0.07 g) of LINABLUE ® (LES2) to each drink.
LINABLUE® Mixing experiment
LINABLUE ® results differ slightly due to the nature of the three effects below.
1: Subtle difference in yellow
2: pH
3: Alcohol
As the graph in “physical property” shows, LINABLUE ® tends to turn green when the pH is low. Also, alcohol tends to turn green.
In the image above, the white drink may not look colored, but it is actually light blue.

LINABLUE ® is not only blue, it can also change a beautiful variety of greens.