Microalgae for health
Spirugrass®, fraction of Spirulina biorefining
Spirugrass® is a fraction (pure chemical compound) from the biorefining of spirulina. Available in wet or dry form, this fraction is particularly rich in amino acids, iron, vitamin K and beta-carotenes.
This nutritional richness, capable of satisfying recommended daily intakes with reduced quantities, makes Spirugrass® a food or nutraceutical ingredient of top quality.
Its composition also allows it to be used as an organic slow-release fertilizer. It provides immediate and long-term action by improving crop growth and soil fertility.
Spirulina arthrospira platensis
Spirulina is a cyanobacterium, or blue-green algae, belonging to the Arthrospira genus. The most common species are Spirulina maxima and Arthrospira platensis.
Spirulina contains around 60% protein in dry form. It is particularly suitable for vegan or vegetarian diets. Low in calories, Spirulina has an interesting amount of fatty acids and is rich in iron, vitamins A and B12, and minerals. It has beneficial effects as a food, which have been scientifically recognized. It is a source of antioxidants, strengthens the immune system and improves the tone and vitality of the body.
Like all microalgae, Spirulina must however be considered with caution to ensure its quality. Cultivation must be managed with rigor and attention to detail in order to avoid the development of elements which are harmful to humans, such as heavy metals.
Spirulina is largely made up (80%) of hydrophilic elements: proteins, minerals, polysaccharides and water-soluble vitamins. Inside the cell, water is used to transport the majority of Spirulina metabolites and plays the role of natural support. Thus, water is fundamental to its survival and to the activities of most of its constituents. As a result, the drying of Spirulina eliminates most of this interior water, causing the death of the cell which can no longer ensure its vital functions. Drying therefore profoundly modifies the structure of Spirulina and its metabolites.
The Spirulina strain cultivated by AlgoSource is a referenced Arthrospira platensis. Over three decades, this strain has been cultivated season after season, respecting its natural life cycle. Every year, between November and March, the strain is kept at rest in the heart of the AlgoSource strain bank. Year after year, this culture-conservation method has permitted AlgoSource to gently select the best Spirulina strain, offering optimal qualities of resistance and production of its molecules of interest.
Starting in April, Spirulina is awakened by successive stages of volume increase. The strain goes from the laboratory beaker where it has remained “dormant” to increasingly large containers, before being cultivated in an open basin under a greenhouse. These pools, called raceways, make it possible to effectively capture the sun’s energy at a depth suited to its intensity. A paddle wheel ensures perpetual movement of the water and, thus, prevents stagnation or the deposit of Spirulina at the bottom of the basin.
Spirulina develops by photosynthesis and the greenhouse makes it possible to maintain a sufficient temperature for this organism, which appreciates temperatures of 20-35°C. Continuous monitoring of the culture medium also makes it possible to ensure, in real time, that the growing conditions and quality are as effective as possible.
Water quality is an essential factor for having Spirulina of good quality, since this alga has a natural tendency to absorb heavy metals. It is the central point of contingency that determines the perfect quality of biomass. By cultivating its own Spirulina biomass, AlgoSource maintains control over the environment, the quality of the elements necessary for cultivating the microalgae and its environmental impact.
Once harvested manually, the Spirulina biomass is pressed and immediately undergoes a step of deep-freezing.
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