Phycocyanin is a pigment-protein complex from the light-harvesting phycobiliprotein family, along with allophycocyanin and phycoerythrin. It is an accessory pigment to chlorophyll. All phycobiliproteins are water-soluble, so they cannot exist within the membrane like carotenoids can. Instead, phycobiliproteins aggregate to form clusters that adhere to the membrane called phycobilisomes. Phycocyanin is a characteristic light blue color, absorbing orange and red light, particularly near 620 nm (depending on which specific type it is), and emits fluorescence at about 650 nm (also depending on which type it is). Allophycocyanin absorbs and emits at longer wavelengths than phycocyanin C or phycocyanin R. Phycocyanins are found in Cyanobacteria (also called blue-green algae). Phycobiliproteins have fluorescent properties that are used in immunoassay kits.
The product phycocyanin, produced by Aphanizomenon flos-aquae and Spirulina, is for example used in the food and beverage industry as the natural coloring agent 'Lina Blue' and is found in sweets and ice cream.
The phycobiliproteins are made of two subunits(alpha and beta) having a protein backbone to which 1-2 linear tetrapyrrole chromophores are covalently bound.
1.Applied in food field, it contains a lot of amino acids, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, which can help body with better health care;
2.Applied in pharmaceutical field, there are various forms existed, such as tablets, capsules and powder, these can prevent various of diseases;
3.Applied in cosmetic field, it is able to nourish and cure the skin.