Introducing the World’s Most Heat-Stable Spirulina

Natural Blue Colors for Food and Beverages

As naturalness becomes an expectation in food and beverages rather than a bonus for mainstream consumers, natural blue remains somewhat elusive. Scarcity of blues in nature also contributes to challenges developing natural greens and purples.

Our R&D team is continuously working toward novel color sources and optimized solutions to extend nature’s rainbow, and we have launched several natural blue options recently:


Click on each of these sections to learn more.

Butterfly pea flower extract offers a highly heat-, light-, and acid-stable denim blue and bright purple at different pH levels. While this solution is extremely successful for a wide variety of applications including beverages and confections, it does not achieve sky blue shades to match FD&C Blue 1.


Spirulina extracts do offer sky blue options similar to FD&C Blue 1, but typical spirulina solutions are not especially heat or acid stable.They can precipitate or fade in harsh conditions.


Marine Blue™️ is Sensient’s biggest breakthrough ever in natural color stability. This innovative platform technology solves one of the most difficult challenges facing food and beverage manufacturers today: how to achieve the brightest natural blues and greens that are stable across different applications and a wide range of processing conditions. The Marine Blue™️ line will include a number of advanced formulas that solve finally solve the stability problem. Stay tuned for updates throughout 2024!

Sensient’s Marine Blue™ line was originally launched to begin addressing the need for natural sky blue with enhanced stability, and the first product in this portfolio focused on pH stability for hard boiled candies and gummies. This extension offers bright blues, greens, and purples in a key category.


However, heat stability has remained a concern, especially in fresh or packaged bakery applications where spirulina could be used in inclusions like sugar shell chocolate gems that undergo a baking process.

That’s where the newest addition to the Marine Blue™ portfolio comes in!

The latest Marine Blue™ has been specifically engineered to withstand heat processing, such as in gummy or gelatin applications or during the panning process of sugar-shelled chocolate gems as well as the baking process once those gems are added to cookies, bars, cupcakes, and more.

Now, developers can replace FD&C Blue 1 in applications with a heat step.

Other market alternatives, like butterfly pea flower extract and huito, do not offer the same bright sky blue shade in these applications.

Other spirulina solutions do not survive the bake step, fading to unappealing gray shades. Marine Blue is also highly successful in Gummy and Fruit Snack applications, Gelatin, and many Hard Candy formulas.


Standard Spirulina fades during the baking process.


Marine Blue™ Azure maintains a bold, bright blue through baking.


Sensient continues to innovate with spirulina and other color sources to bring our customers the best and brightest natural rainbow.

Because natural color performance can be impacted by so many processing parameters, it can be difficult to find solutions that work across every application. That’s why you need a company like Sensient who will develop platforms with multiple solutions to meet all development needs. We now have a solution for sky blue in gems for baked applications, but it will take a different innovation for to create sky blue for other applications like beverages. We’re excited that the learnings from this new addition will help lead our R&D team forward: Stay tuned soon!

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