Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) is a fresh water algae is known for its great concentration of vitamins, minerals, protein, and chlorophyll. It has been a primary component of diets in Mexico and Chad, and consumers worldwide still buy spirulina today as tablets and powders.
Grown around the world from Mexico to Africa to even Hawaii, spirulina is renowned for its intense flavor and even more powerful nutrition profile!
The numerous health benefits attributed to spirulina are; preventing cancer, cholesterol, reducing blood pressure, inflammation, lowering chances of stroke, reducing sinus, speeding weight loss, eliminating Candida, removing toxins and an immune booster.
The most recent use of Spirulina is for one more health reason: To give cleaner food label and to replace artificial food dyes like Red no. 40 and yellow 6 Spirulina which has blue-green color is in use. U.S. manufacturers have never been allowed to use this blue-green bacterium as a coloring agent before. In 2013, Mars Inc. received the green light from US. Regulators to use this algae to color candy and gum.
The primary pigment in spirulina is a protein called phycocyanin. It imparts a cyan, or vibrant blue, color. Manufacturers will most often see spirulina coloring extract in this shade, but that’s not to say that spirulina blue can’t be the foundation for other colors. “You can mix it with yellow to get green, but you can also mix it with red to get these lavender or violet shades,” says Jeanette O’Brien, vice president of GNT USA Inc. (Tarrytown, NY). “They’re different shades of purple than what you would get from other fruits or vegetables.”