Spirulina platensis, planktonic blue-green algae, is gaining increasing attention because of its nutritional and medicinal properties. This microalgae contains phycobiliproteins (phycocyanin and allophycocyanin). Previous reports from our laboratory have shown that a protean extract of S. platensis is a potent free-radical scavenger (hydroxyl and peroxyl radicals) and inhibits microsomal lipid peroxidation. The aim of this study was to purify and characterize phycocyanin of S. platensis. Besides, we tried to demonstrate that one of the main components responsible for this antioxidant activity is a biliprotein phycocyanin. For this purpose, we studied the antioxidant activity of different fractions obtained during the phycocyanin purification process, through the scavenger activity of hydroxyl radical. We also observed that an increase in phycocyanin content was related to an increase in the antioxidant activity in different fractions, and therefore phycobiliprotein phycocyanin is the component mainly responsible for the antioxidant activity.