The key difference between chlorophyll and chlorophyllin is that chlorophyll is a natural pigment found in cyanobacteria and chloroplasts of algae and plants, while chlorophyllin is a chemical made from chlorophyll.
Chlorophyll and chlorophyllin are two related molecules. This is because chlorophyllin is a water-soluble salt and semi-synthetic derivative of chlorophyll. Moreover, in chlorophyllin, the central magnesium atom of chlorophyll is replaced by other metals such as cobalt, copper, or iron. Furthermore, chlorophyll is the green pigment involved in photosynthesis, while chlorophyllin is used as a medicine and food colouring agent.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Chlorophyll
3. What is Chlorophyllin
4. Similarities – Chlorophyll and Chlorophyllin
5. Chlorophyll vs Chlorophyllin in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Chlorophyll vs Chlorophyllin
What is Chlorophyll?
Chlorophyll is a natural green pigment that is abundantly found in cyanobacteria and in the chloroplasts of algae and plants. Chlorophyll was first discovered and isolated by Joseph Bienaimé Caventou and Pierre Joseph Pelletier in 1817. The presence of magnesium atom in the centre of the chlorophyll was discovered in 1906. Structurally, chlorophyll molecule consists of a central magnesium atom surrounded by a nitrogen-containing structure known as a porphyrin ring. This was the first element detected in living tissue.
Chlorophyll helps plants to absorb energy from light, which is mainly used in the photosynthesis process of plants. Moreover, chlorophylls absorb light in the blue and red portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. However, chlorophyll is a poor absorber of green and near-green portions of the spectrum. Hence, chlorophyll-containing tissues appear green as the green light is rejected by these tissues.
There are two main chlorophyll molecules: chlorophyll a and b. The main difference between chlorophyll a and b is that chlorophyll a is the principal pigment involved in photosynthesis, while chlorophyll b is an accessory pigment. In addition, the molecular formula of chlorophyll a is C55H72O5N4Mg, and the molecular formula of chlorophyll b is C55H70O6N4Mg.
What is Chlorophyllin?
Chlorophyllin is a chemical molecule made from chlorophyll. It is sometimes used as a medicine in the pharmaceutical industry. Due to its green colour, it is also used as a food colouring agent. Chlorophyllin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Moreover, it can stop the human body from absorbing certain chemicals that can increase the risk of cancer. Therefore, as a medicine in the health industry, chlorophyllin can be used for body odour, urinary odour, reducing the strong smell of bowel movements, bad breath, various cancers, acne, wrinkles in the skin, and sun damage.
The molecular formula of chlorophyllin is C₃₄H₃₁CuN₄Na₃O₆. Chlorophyllin is generally safe when taken for up to 3 months. But when taken in excess, it might make the skin more sensitive to the sun.
What are the Similarities Between Chlorophyll and Chlorophyllin?
- Chlorophyll and chlorophyllin are related molecules.
- Both molecules are green in colour.
- These molecules have a porphyrin ring.
- Both molecules have important functions and use.
What is the Difference Between Chlorophyll and Chlorophyllin?
Chlorophyll is a natural pigment found in cyanobacteria, algae, and plants, while chlorophyllin is a chemical that is made from chlorophyll. Thus, this is the key difference between chlorophyll and chlorophyllin. Furthermore, chlorophyll is a natural molecule or pigment, while chlorophyllin is a synthetic molecule.
The below infographic presents the differences between chlorophyll and chlorophyllin in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – Chlorophyll vs Chlorophyllin
Chlorophyll and chlorophyllin are two associated molecules. Chlorophyll is a natural pigment that gives plants a green colour. It helps plants produce their own food through photosynthesis. On the other hand, chlorophyllin is a chemical that is derived from chlorophyll. It is also known as liquid chlorophyll in the industry. In chlorophyllin, the central magnesium atom of chlorophyll is replaced by other metals such as cobalt, copper, or iron. Moreover, chlorophyllin is used as a medicine and a colouring agent in the food industry. So, this summarizes the difference between chlorophyll and chlorophyllin.