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What are the characteristics of Spirulina?

Native to the lakes of Chad, and currently cultivated in ponds, spirulina is particularly recommended for its richness in nutrients.

Rather, blue algae tend to be terrestrial and very small in size. Cyanophyceae are primarily prokaryotic bacteria. They play an important role in photosynthesis e, transform energy and fix CO2 and release O2. Some can also fix the nitrogen. It is indeed interesting to know that they have contributed to life on Earth by their production of O2 by photosynthesis. They are also responsible for the great oxidation around 2 billion years ago. They notably contributed to the first biological carbon sink, and are capable of producing limestone.

Spirulina is also the traditional food of the Kanembous of Chad and testimony of consumption by the Aztecs, Incas and pre-Incas, brought back by the conquistadors. It is one of the oldest living microorganisms on our planet. Most often considered as a microalga, spirulina is more precisely a cyanobacterium . It has a photosynthetic system, that is to say it uses, like plants, solar energy to synthesize its organic molecules. It therefore captures light thanks to two pigments: Chlorophyll (green) and Phycocyanin (blue red).

Since the 1970s, spirulina has been considered a health food and a dietary supplement . This new use has led scientists to take an interest in this cyanobacterium with multiple virtues.

To develop, spirulina needs fresh water, mineral salts and sunlight. Phycocyanin is characterized by its unique blue-red color. It is the main pigment in spirulina and also the most active.

In dry spirulina , Phycocyanin is only present at 15% and requires a substantial digestion phase before being assimilated. Thus, the benefits of phycocyanin from a
dry spirulina are less. Flakes, tablets and other forms of dry spirulina do not allow phycocyanin to be easily assimilated. A digestion phase is necessary in order to access the active molecule, which implies a loss of 30 to 40% of the intake.

Latin name :

  • Spirulina platensis

Botanical family :

  • Cyanophyceae (Blue algae)

Producing organ :

  • Whole seaweed

Main components of the plant :

  • Good quality protein (60 to 70%) (richer in protein than meat) with branched amino acids
  • High molecular weight polysaccharides: immolina
  • Nucleic acids (30% DNA and 70% RNA)
  • Phycocyanin (combination of a protein from the phycobiliprotein family and water-soluble pigments from photosynthesis)
  • Rich in iron, vitamins A and B12, carotenoids, manganese, chromium, sodium and potassium, source of calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, vitamins C and E, phycocyanin (natural blue pigment, food coloring and antioxidant)

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