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Enhanced Microencapsulation of C-Phycocyanin from Arthrospira by Freeze-Drying with Different Wall Materials

Wanida Pan-utai1*orcid tiny and Siriluck Iamtham2,3,4,5,6orcid tiny

1Institute of Food Research and Product Development, Kasetsart University, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand

2Department of Science, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Science, Kasetsart University, Kamphaeng Saen Campus, Nakhon Pathom 73140, Thailand

3Center for Agricultural Biotechnology, Kasetsart University, Kamphaeng Saen Campus, Nakhon Pathom 73140, Thailand

4Center of Excellence on Agricultural Biotechnology: (AG-BIO/PERDO-CHE), Bangkok 10900, Thailand

5Center for Advanced Studies in Tropical Natural Resource, NRU-KU, Kasetsart University, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand

6Research Unit of Orchid Tissue Culture, Kasetsart University, Kamphaeng Saen Campus, Nakhon Pathom 73140, Thailand

Article history:

Received: 2 January 2020

Accepted: 2 December 2020

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Key words:

phycocyanin, Arthrospira, microencapsulation, freeze-drying, antioxidant properties


Research background. C-phycocyanin (C-PC) as a water-soluble blue pigment was extracted from microalga Arthrospira. C-PC could be a good substitute for synthetic pigments with high antioxidant activity. However, C-PC is unstable due to sensitivity to temperature, light, pH, and oxygen; therefore applications of C-PC in food and other products are limited. Microencapsulation of C-PC using freeze-drying is a solution to this problem and is considered a suitable method for drying heat-sensitive pigment.

Experimental approach. C-phycocyanin was extracted from Arthrospira platensis. C-phycocyanin microcapsules were modified by freeze-drying, with different ratios at 0-100 % of maltodextrin (MD) and gum Arabic (GA) used as microencapsulation wall materials. The powders produced were evaluated for physical properties including moisture content and water activity, solubility, hygroscopicity, bulk density, colour appearance, particle morphology and size distribution. Thermal stability and antioxidant activity of freeze-dried C-PC microencapsulated powders were also assessed.

Results and conclusions. Freeze-dried C-PC microencapsulated powders with maltodextrin and gum Arabic as wall materials gave high encapsulation efficiency of around 99 %. At higher gum Arabic percentage, moisture content decreased and water activity improved. Maltodextrin gave higher solubility of C-PC powders whereas gum Arabic led to a similar colour of C-PC without microencapsulation. Freeze-dried C-PC microencapsulated powders were composed of different sized microparticles regardless of the combination of wall materials with amorphous glassy shapes. Thermal stability of encapsulated C-PC increased and also showed high antioxidant properties. 

Novelty and scientific contribution. C-PC microcapsules that maintain colourant stability with high antioxidant levels and resistance to high temperatures can be applied in a wide variety of products and also in the food industry.

*Corresponding author: +6629428629

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