Spirulina as a Source of Single Cell Protein
Sarma A Phaninatha, Petar P, Murthy SDS
Department of Biochemistry, S.V. University, Tirupati–517 502, A.P., India.
The cyanobacteria (Blue-green algae) are the most ancient, filamentous, photosynthetic bacteria that use water as electron donor in photosynthesis giving out oxygen. There are two important species, Spirulina maxima and Spirulina platensis. These are multicellular organisms, which are multiplied by binary fission. Depending upon the presence of chlorophyll a, botanists included it as micro algae in the classCyanophyceae; but depending on its structural characteristics shown as a prokaryotic bacterium considered by the bacteriologist. This is the phytoplankton having rich of biomolecules in their structure include proteins (60%-70%), carbohydrates (20%-25%), essential fatty acids (18%), vitamins, minerals and pigments like carotenoids, chlorophyll a and phycocyanin. The phycocyanin is used in food and cosmetic industries. Because of the richest source of biologically required substances Spirulina considered as an excellent food source, with lacking of toxic characters and having corrective properties against viral attacks, anemia, tumor growth and malnutrition. Usage of Spirulina as a food supplement is used before the Columbus, Mexicans (Aztecs), presently some African tribes like “Kanembu” using as main food source. According to recent research noted that Spirulina as animal food supplement implies enhancement of the yellow coloration of skin and egg yolk in poultry and flamingos, growth acceleration, sexual maturation and increase of fertility in cattle. Present studies indicated that cyanobacteria having some AIDS-antiviral sulpholipids, are much useful against HIV.