Cyanobacteria (see blue algae) are phototrophic microorganisms that are often associated with water pollution. Spirulina is such a microorganism. In contrast to others of its kind, spirulina does not form toxic substances. On the contrary: the biomass is edible and is already an important source of protein for the future. Research projects have shown that spirulina can even be used as a food additive for space travel.
In contrast to other organisms, Spirulina has the advantage that it can grow under extreme conditions. It tolerates basic pH values up to 11 and copes with high salt levels. Even high temperatures up to 37 ° C do not bother the organism. The Spirulina algae form spiral microfilaments that can be made visible using a microscope. The organism is relatively easy to cultivate and, under optimal conditions, quickly forms large amounts of biomass.
In our greenhouse, we can produce large amounts of spirulin biomass with large open ponds, each up to 50,000 liters. After production, we harvest the algae with a belt filter. The concentrated biomass is dehydrated using a gentle drying process so as not to destroy the valuable ingredients. This creates flakes with an almost black color. Depending on customer requirements, we can also process the biomass into a powder using the spray dryer.
Phycocyanin, a blue protein complex that gives the organism its cyan appearance, can be extracted using a simple filtration process. This blue powder is often used as a dye in numerous products. Pay attention to the entry ‘Spirulina extract’ in the list of ingredients the next time you buy colored rubber confectionery.