Scottish algae company sees green in the color blue

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In Scotland, Scottish Bioenergy is looking to replace synthetic food colorings with a natural, algae-based version, dubbed ScotBio Blue.

Chief Operating Officer Polly Van Alstyne tells The Scotsman she would like to one day see M&Ms and Powerades use the natural alternative. “[Brands are] being driven to reevaluate the ingredients they’re putting into their products and that ultimately means that they start looking for natural colorants,” she says. General Mills, Nestlé, Hershey and Kraft have all announced efforts to move away from artificial colors.

Sottish Bioenergy was founded in 2007 and is based on the findings of PhD student, Chelsea Brain, who found that a specific type of red light increased the production of phycocyanin in spirulina. The coloring is suitable for sweets, ice cream, and cocktails.