Molecule of the Week

Phycocyanobilin

April 28, 2014

Phycocyanobilin is a blue tetrapyrrole chromophore that occurs in cyanobacteria such as Arthrospira spp. and in chloroplasts of other organisms. It is the terminal energy acceptor in the phycobiliproteins phycocyanin and allophycocyanin.

Phycocyanobilin-containing spirulina extract from cyanobacteria has recently come on the market as a natural food coloring. It was approved for this use by the US Food & Drug Administration in August 2013. It joins turmeric, β-carotene, and carmine as natural food colors that are used in candy and chewing gum.

More about this molecule from CAS, the most authoritative and comprehensive source for chemical information.

Molecule of the Week: Phycocyanobilin