inewtrition – Food Product Development Company

Blue Spirulina: trending ingredient

Picture of by Dr. Raphaëlle O'Connor

by Dr. Raphaëlle O'Connor

Raphaelle has over 25 years’ experience in the ideation,
development, and commercialisation of food chemistry,
food science, food technology, and nutrition.

Blue sprulina

In an era where health is not just a goal but a lifestyle, the FnB industry constantly seeks innovative ingredients that not only enhance nutrition but also excite the senses. Blue spirulina, with its  mesmerising blue pigment, is fast becoming the darling of the wellness world. Let’s take a look at why this constituent is making a mark, how it’s being used, and delve into some of our favourite products in the market. 


What is blue spirulina?

Blue spirulina, derived from the blue-green algae arthrospira platensis, is making a bold splash in the health and wellness sector. Unlike its green counterpart, this vibrant blue powder is virtually tasteless, making it an aesthetically pleasing and versatile addition to a variety of foods and beverages. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, particularly phycocyanin, blue spirulina is more than just a pretty hue – it’s a powerhouse of nutrition.


Functional ingredient worth the hype?

  • Aesthetic Appeal: In a world dominated by social media, the visual appeal of blue spirulina is undeniable. Its striking colour adds a unique attraction to dishes and drinks, perfect for the Instagram-era where presentation is key.
  • Health Benefits: blue spirulina is celebrated for its health-promoting properties. It’s rich in antioxidants, which help combat oxidative stress, and is a source of essential nutrients like B vitamins and iron.
  • Versatility: Its neutral flavour makes it an ideal ingredient for a variety of applications, from smoothies and lattes to baked goods and snacks.
  • Sustainability: Aligning with global demands for sustainable food sources, spirulina is a low-impact, highly sustainable crop.


Why is blue spirulina trending?

In November 2022, the FDA approved a petition to expand the use of spirulina extract as a colour additive in various food and beverages, including alcoholic libations:

  • Alcoholic beverages with less than 20% alcohol by volume
  • Non-alcoholic beverages
  • Condiments and sauces
  • Dips
  • Plant-based products
  • Salad dressings
  • Seasoning mixes
  • And more!


How is blue spirulina currently being used in market?

Early signals show a plethora of wellness products, most noticeably in its powdered form to add to beverages or liquid meals. The occasional inclusion in cocktails has also been spotted, primarily on personal blogs and, of course, social media. 

Apart from human consumption, blue spirulina as a functional ingredient is now also showing up in pet nutrition from smaller speciality retailers.

Interestingly, this is where the use of blue spirulina has halted due to earlier FDA restrictions. We can expect that this functional ingredient will be mainstream in no time. 

At inewtrition, we’re committed to staying ahead of the curve, understanding and anticipating the needs of our clients and consumers. Blue spirulina is more than a trend; it’s a reflection of our industry’s dedication to sustainable innovation and nutritious food solutions. 

Interested in exploring how blue spirulina can revolutionise your product offerings? Book a free consultation with us today.


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