Phycocyanin content and nutritional profile of Arthrospira platensis from Mexico: efficient extraction process and stability evaluation of phycocyanin

BMC Chem. 2021 Apr 5;15(1):24. doi: 10.1186/s13065-021-00746-1.


Phycocyanin is a blue natural food colorant with multiple health benefits. Here we propose an efficient phycocyanin extraction method from Arthrospira platensis from Mexico. Three extraction methods were applied to optimize the extraction process, using water and buffer as solvents, with three pH values at two agitation times. The highest phycocyanin, 54.65 mg/g, was extracted from dry biomass with water as a solvent using an ultrasonication bar. The optimum condition of extraction was determined to be 1:50 biomass/solvent ratio for dry biomass, with the freeze/thaw method for 20 min repeated twice, and then agitated at 120 rpm for 24 h. The phycocyanin content was 48.88 mg/g biomass, with a purity of 0.47. For scalable phycocyanin productivity, the sonication method is recommended as there is no statistical difference. The phycocyanin stability was best at - 20 °C storage temperature at pH 7 for 35 days. Partial purification with ammonium sulfate was found to be suitable as a fractional precipitation method, first at 0-20% and then 20-65%, to get purity nearly 1. Total protein was found to be 55.52%, and total amino acids after phycocyanin extraction was 33%. The maximum phycocyanin yield using water as a solvent was the most interesting result regardless of the method used for extraction.

Keywords: Extraction; Natural colorant; Phycocyanin; Purification; Stability.