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By Heather L. Milliken
What is Spirulina?
It is a blue-green algae

One-celled form

65-71 percent protein

Contains all essential amino acids

Spirulina has an 8-10 percent photosynthetic

conversion rate (land plants have about a 3
percent conversion rate)
The First Harvesting Techniques
Kanembu make Dih cakes (2)
In Mexico, Spirulina was
found to be harvested and
dried for consumption up
until the late 16th century

The Spanish Conquest led

to lakes being drained to
make room for new
civilization (2)
Techniques Continued

have been performed to
maximize the production of Spirulina.

Thisis done by monitoring the

floatation and by determining the
most productive growth stage. (1)
The Benefits of Harvesting

Spirulina can be cultivated in shallow


Asa result of this, Spirulina can

double its biomass every 2 to 5 days,
yields can produce over 20 times
more protein than soybeans on the
same area, and 40 times that of corn
and 400 times that of beef. (2)
Nutritional Value
Spirulina is a food source that consists of more than 60%

It has the highest known source of beta carotene. (25 times

more than raw carrots)

Spirulina has more vitamin B12 than any other known


It contains the richest food source of gamma linolenic acid

(GLA). (GLA is the precursor to body's important hormone

Spirulina is richest source of chlorophyll.

Spirulina has a number of natural antioxidants like beta-

carotene, vitamin E, vitamin B1, B5, & B6, zinc,
manganese, copper and selenium & amino acid methionine.
The Pink Flamingo
Some flamingos evolved a filter in its
beak to specifically eat spirulina.
Forms of Consumption
Kanembu people use crumbled Dih
to mixed with a sauce of tomatoes
and peppers, and poured over millet,
beans, fish or meat.

Ittaken in the pill form as a

nutritional suppliment

Spirulina is added to numerous types

of pet foods.
The Benefits of Eating Spirulina
Reduces blood cholestrol

Spirulina helps to control diabetes

Helps in kidney detoxification

Useful in combating malnutrition

Spirulina is very useful in preventing vitamin A

deficiency (helps prevent blindness and eye
disease (4))

Aids in the prevention of anaemia


1) Kim, S.G., Choi, A., Ahn, C.Y., Park, C.S., Park, Y.H., Oh, H.M.
(2005). Harvesting of Spirulina platensisby cellular floatation and
growth stage determination. Letters in Applied Microbiology 40,


3) http://www/