Let’s Get to Know Spirulina, the Food of the Future

More and more research suggests that the future of foods is plant-based. One of the most efficient sources of complete plant-based protein is spirulina. Spirulina is the commercial name of two cyanobacteria species; Arthrospira platensis and Arthrospira maxima. The name spirulina has been assigned to both species with a valid reason. Their shape does resemble a spiral. Many also refer to these two microalgae species as blue-green algae because of their color hues.

Spirulina is a class of ancient photosynthetic organisms that still survive to this day. Although it is believed to be one of the future protein sources, humans have actually been consuming spirulina since ancient times. The Aztecs called spirulina tecuitlatl, and use them as an ingredient in various cakes. Archaeologists have also found that the Chad lake inhabitants in Africa have been consuming spirulina since the Neolithic age.

From the nutritional perspective, dried spirulina contains an extraordinary protein intake, reaching around 65%. Spirulina is also a source of phenylalanine, a type of amino acid which essential for the growth of living organisms. Apart from that, spirulina powder also contains the entire group of Vitamin B (except B12), vitamin E, and K. Spirulina also contains 28.5mg of iron in every 100g of its product. That composition makes spirulina as one of the best treatments for anemia and iron deficiency patients.

Spirulina is also marketed as an alternative to fish oil thanks to its rich Omega content. The production of Omega from microalgae is said to be way more efficient than from fish. Because fish actually accumulate Omega from the microalgae they consume. Thus, extracting Omega directly from microalgae can cut a lot of energy and resources.

At Spiralife, we grow freshwater spirulina in our high rate production pond (HRAP) facilities. This cultivation method is said to be one of the best because it can produce optimal biomass and, at the same time, prevent the product from the contamination of unnecessary substances.

Apart from harvesting biomass and drying it for food, we also extract spirulina’s active substance, phycocyanin. Various studies have concluded that phycocyanin can help fight free radicals in the body, resulting in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. The phycocyanin we produce is appropriate as raw materials for the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries.

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