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Environmental concerns regarding synthetic dyes saw a revival in the demand for natural dyes. Conventional wisdom leads to the belief that natural dyes are more environmental friendly than their synthetic counterparts. Natural dyes/colourants derived from flora and fauna are believed to be safe because of non-toxic, non-carcinogenic and biodegradable in nature. Further, natural dyes do not cause pollution and waste water problems. Lately, the potential of obtaining natural colour from microbial pigments to be used as natural colourants has been widely investigated. Microbes such as bacteria is one of the most likely sources of new pigments because they have the potential of being exploited using existing culture techniques. The pigments of higher organisms, animal, plant and fungi, may be less accessible to exploitation because of the structural complexity of the pigment-bearing tissue or because the pigment is formed only at critical points of development within a complex life cycle.

What We Offer

  • Red, blue and yellow pigments from bacteria
  • Propagated in cheap agricultural waste
  • Pigments used in textile dyeing, printing industry, paper industry and candle making

Natural Pigments vs Synthetic Pigments

Natural pigments

  • environment friendly – biodegradable
  • distinct biological activities
  • antimicrobial properties

 Synthetic dye

  • environment concern – the impact of the use and disposal
  • toxic, carcinogenic and highly resistant to degradation


  • 3 coloured pigments from bacteria i.e. red, yellow and purplish-blue.
  • The colour can be easily manipulated by varying the pH.
  • Pigment extraction – simple boiling technique or solvent extraction.
  • Wide applications i.e. textile-dyeing, paper and candle making and ink industry.
  • Pigments able to dye various fabrics and resistant to several external conditions.
  • Pigments have been proven to have antimicrobial properties.
  • Bacteria can be propagated in cheap medium (solid pineapple waste and brown sugar).


  • Locally isolated bacteria – does not involve genetic modification
  • Low nutrient requirement
  • Simple extraction method
  • Cheap medium can be used  to propagate bacteria
  • Pigment have antimicrobial properties
  • Non- toxic and biodegradable
  • Can dye various fabrics
  • Dyed fabrics resist to several external conditions
  • Natural colour tone

Market size

  • An estimated USD1 billion is spent annually in the food colourant industry
  • Annual growth rate projection of 4% (higher than synthetic colourant 2-3%)
  • Production cost < 20-30% than synthetic colourant
  • Worldwide demand expected to increase due to public concern with ‘health’ and ‘natural’ issues – especially Japan and Europe
  • Major importers for natural colourants include Germany, France, Italy and UK


  • Silver medal, British Invention Show London (2006)
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