Spirulina is a microscopic multicellular cyanobacterium, which occurs naturally in lakes and rivers in Africa, Asia and South America. It is a very simple and ancient life form, which produces its own energy from sunlight. This is done through photosynthesis using the blue pigment phycocyanin, so spirulina is also referred to as "blue algae". But spirulina is not really an alga or a plant. The truth lies somewhere between the two, first evolved about 3.6 billion years ago.
Cyanobacteria such as spirulina can survive under extreme conditions that other microorganisms cannot tolerate, such as an alkaline pH value of 11 and temperatures up to 45°C. They are also phototropic - they use carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and sunlight to generate energy and for these reasons, they are considered one of the first organisms to live on Earth. These early cyanobacteria contributed to changing the Earth's atmosphere from carbon dioxide to oxygen, allowing other life forms to develop.
Spirulina grows in spiral threads about 0.5 mm long, which quickly reproduce by breaking down into small segments and growing again. At the peak in hot summer months, production can reach up to 20 g of protein per square meter per day. Spirulina filaments grow into a solid green mat on the surface of the water, which is caught by scooping it with nets or hoes. Already in the 16th century, dried spirulina in edible biscuits called "techuitatl" was used by the Aztecs, who received his appreciation for its nutritional value. Spirulina is also eaten in large quantities by flamingos on Lake Natron in Africa. When the cyanobacteria are digested, carotene is released, a natural pigment that gives the flamingos their characteristic pink hue.
Spirulina has a high tolerance of salt and thrives in waters that are strongly alkaline. Most microorganisms cannot survive in the hostile environment that spirulina prefers. This means that in Organic cultivation of spirulina, the use of chemical pesticides is superfluous, as the infectious organisms cannot live under these conditions.
Spirulina has a high tolerance to salt and thrives in waters that are highly alkaline.
Our spirulina is grown on a peninsula in the South China Sea. This location is ideal for spirulina cultivation because it offers consistently warm temperatures and long hours of sunshine, which are essential for productive growth rates. The farm is surrounded by pristine natural forests and is completely isolated from urban areas and agricultural pollution. The spirulina is routinely tested for the presence of mercury, lead and other contaminants so that the final product is completely pure and contains no risk of poisoning by heavy metals.
In addition, samples from the growing ponds are tested daily for pH and optical density, which measures the concentration of spirulina in the water and tells us when it is ready to be harvested. It takes about 2 months before spirulina can be harvested for the first time, but because it grows so fast, harvesting can then take place every week.
After that, it can take place every week.
The spirulina is removed from the water with a fine mesh that catches the small coiled filaments. The collected spirulina is then sieved, transferred to a washing pond. Here it is then cleaned by hand to ensure that only pure spirulina is processed. This wet spirulina is placed in a drying chamber that quickly removes all the moisture by evaporation, maintaining the nutrient content. This creates a fine green powder which can be packed immediately, or compressed into spirulina tablets.
In contrast to terrestrial plants, spirulina has no hard cell wall and is therefore easily digestible. It has a high protein content, about 65%, and contains all the essential amino acids (including those that the human body cannot produce and we must acquire through nutrition). Protein contributes to the growth and maintenance of muscle mass and strong bones.
Spirulina has antioxidant properties as it is rich in vitamin E. Vitamin E contributes to the protection of cells against oxidative stress and protects DNA, proteins and lipids against oxidative damage. Spirulina is also high in calcium, magnesium and iron. Calcium plays a role in many functions of the body, including contributing to normal muscle function, the transmission of information through the nervous system and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. Magnesium contributes to maintaining bones and teeth, muscle function, metabolism and reducing fatigue. Copper contributes to the transport of oxygen through the body, as well as to cognitive function, the immune system and the reduction of fatigue.
Biologically grown spirulina is the most environmentally friendly source of protein; it is complete in terms of nutritional value and it can be grown on land that is unsuitable for other forms of agriculture. And unlike livestock farming (one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases, 34kg of CO2 per kilogram of meat protein), spirulina removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it grows.
Because it reproduces so fast and gets its own energy from sunlight, spirulina agriculture is also very energy efficient. No biomass energy is wasted or lost during the production process, and almost all nutrients are preserved so that the final product contains as much as possible digestible proteins and vitamins from the first phase of the food cycle.
Organic spirulina powder can be mixed in a glass of water and drunk as a pure food supplement, or mixed with fresh fruit in nutritious smoothies. The powder can also be sprinkled on salads and soups for a powerful dose of protein, vitamins and minerals in your daily diet.