Project title: ThermoBlue

Partners: Deutsches Institut für Lebensmitteltechnik (DIL), Döhler, Elea, PepsiCo, Vaxa

Research Fund: EIT Food

Initial year: 2020


René Groben

Project Manager

A natural blue food color that can be used in food products that are heat treated and are acidic is impossible today. 

ThermoBlue addresses that need, and brings together a highly competent group of partners each with capabilities that will deliver a technology to market.

ThermoBlue will develop a natural stable blue pigment from thermophilic microalgae, isolated from Icelandic hot streams. It will be produced with clean energy available at the Icelandic production site, resulting in sustainable, healthy and waste-reduced production. The algal species used in this project grows at high temperatures, leading to contamination-free production. 

Consumers expect their food to be natural, healthy, sustainably produced and safe and thermostable phycobiliproteins (PBPs) from thermophilic microalgae fulfilling these requirements. PBPs can be applied in various food products, such as dairy and beverages, as natural stable colors, which have a higher consumer acceptance than artificial ones. In addition, PBPs can also be used in cosmetics, pharmaceutical and biomedical industries, expanding the application well beyond food.