A. David Ravindran*, Pandian Prabakaran
Department of Biology,
Gandhigram Rural Institute-Deemed University, Gandhigram, Tamilnadu, India.
Phycocyanin is a major light harvesting pigment of cyanobacteria, it has gained importance in many biotechnological applications in food sciences, therapy, immunodiagnostics, cosmetics and pharmacological processes. Screening of cyanobacterial strain showed maximum phycobiliprotein in Spirulina platensis. A number of drying methods studied for the processing of Spirulina (oven dried and sun dried) resulted in loss of phycocyanin. Therefore phycocyanin extraction from fresh biomass was studied. Of the extraction methods tested, homogenisation using a mortar and pestle yielded 18.11% phycocyanin while freezing and thawing extraction yielded 17.68%. Acid treatment also resulted in phycocyanin leaching. Effective phycocyanin extraction was achieved only with 8–10 N hydrochloric acid and yielded phycocyanin ranging from 5% to 46%. Phycocyanin sample was analysed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy.
Key words: Phycocyanin, Drying methods, Spirulina platensis, Cyanobacteria, Acid treatment