They are natural or synthetic additives authorised by food security regulations and used to colour food and drinks in an artificial way. A research team of the Universities of Granada, Jaén and Almería have devised a process to obtain a natural colorant from the micro-algae Porphyridium cruentum.
Many marine algae are rich in proteins with fluorescent properties. They contain a kind of molecules –chromophores– which pick up and emit light. In the case of the species Porphyridium cruentum, the protein known as ficoerithrin confers the micro-algae a reddish colour. Scientists Bermejo Ruperto, of the Universidad de Jaén, José Mª Álvarez Pez, of the UGR [http://www.ugr.es], and Francisco G. Acién Fernández, Emilio Molina Grima and Mª José Ibáñez González, of the Universidad de Almería, have designed a process to obtain the B-ficoeritrina protein from this microalgae, which is characterized by its “high performance”, about 66%. According to José Mª Álvarez, researcher responsible of the group ‘Photochemistry and Photobiology’ of the Universidad de Granada, this value is “twice as much as the highest published up to now obtained with chromatographic method”. They have separated and purified amounts of this on an almost industrial preparatory scale.
An example of the relevance of this finding is the fact that the results of the research work have been included in an article of a special issue of the prestigious Journal of Chromatography.
Colorants are basically used in food and agriculture, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry to improve the aspect of the products and make them more attractive to consumers. B-ficoerithrin is “very fluorescent” and its colour “looks like strawberries milkshake’s”; therefore, according to the researcher, it could take the place of other colorants.
However, the use of a compound as a colorant must be authorized by the regulations currently in force. In this sense, scientists are dealing with the study of the spectroscopic features of B-ficoerithrin. This way they will obtain information about the possible structural changes of the protein when it is subjected to extreme conditions during the production process of foodstuffs or pharmaceutical o cosmetic formulations.
On the other hand, the researchers are going to set in motion a R&D&I project with the spin-off of Almería Bioalgal Marine, S.L., a technological innovation company that works on the treatment and commercialization of microalgae aimed at the sector of aquiculture and the preparation of functional food. In addition, among the commercialized products there are pigments produced from microalgae. Biolgal Marine is part of the business projects supported by the Department for Innovation, Science and Company through the Program Campus, managed by Invercaria.
New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers
24.02.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News