Chlorophyll is the green pigment present in plants which gives them the ability to absorb light and produce energy through photosynthesis. Plants such as grass, lucerne, spinach and nettles can be grown on a large scale and harvested for the extraction of chlorophyll for use as an added food colour. Because green leaves have been in the human diet forever, concentrated chlorophyll is regarded as a very safe natural food ingredient.
From the 1930’s until the 1950’s chlorophyll was extremely popular as a wound dressing and antiseptic as well as a breath freshener. It is still widely regarded as a valuable oral cleansing agent and is commonly used as an ingredient in chewing gum. Added food colours in Europe are declared using E numbers and chlorophyll is recognised as E140, or as E141 where it has been coppered to improve stability. The cosmetic and soap industries and, to a smaller extent, the pharmaceutical industry also use chlorophyll in their products.
As one of the world’s largest producers, The British Chlorophyll Company produces and concentrates chlorophyll from Lincolnshire grown dried grass and lucerne by solvent extraction or by squeezing fresh material. All batches are 100% traceable to the field of origin and produced from pesticide free crops. Chlorophyll is naturally oil soluble, whereas the process of alkaline hydrolysis produces water soluble chlorophyllin. Please contact British Chlorophyll Ltd, for further information on chlorophyll and details of other plant extracted products.