Farming artisanal spirulina and industrial production
There are significant differences between farming artisanal and industrial production of spirulina. Artisanal producers are generally farmers, or humanitarian farms based to offer free or solidarity prices of spirulina to vulnerable populations. The logic is generally not the same for large farms in China or the United States which treat spirulina like a generic product without interest to deliver a good and healthy product to a fair price. The consumer is never in contact with the industrial producer, but always with a dealer, often far from the place of production and without quality control.
Artisanal producers have a great concern for quality, keeping their attention and passion to a single product in which they believe in and to deliver a spirulina with high quality, and what it can do for the future of human alimentation. Some argue, like us, a more comprehensive vision of land use through the installation of human dimension spirulina farm.
How to recognize a good quality spirulina?
Drying at low temperatures, from 35 to 40 °
Industrial production are mostly dried by spray-dry at temperatures above 60 °, threshold where spirulina begins to lose much of his nutrients.
Compliance with European standards of bacteria and heavy metals.
A strong taste is not a good sign in terms of product quality. And sold as capsule can hide unusable spirulina powder … The presentation in the form of sprinkles may only be proposed by an artisan producer.
The level of phycocyanin
This blue pigment antioxidant is one of the best indicators of the transformation of spirulina: while the fresh product contains around 25% of gross weight, an aggressive transformation in industry can bring down the rate to less than 1% (what can be seen in China and Thailand) while the best industrial are between 5 and 10%. Artisanal spirulina rates ranging from 8-10% to 18-23%.
Traceability and quality
Direct relationship with small-scale producers, in addition to the enhancement of human and local aspects, provides easy checking of these two criteria.
Info: world production is estimated at 5,000 tons, half of which is produced in the USA, the other largely in China. In France, an estimated production of hundreds of producers is between 30 to 40 tons.
(Organic EU logo)
Extract from a communication from the FSF (Federation des Spiruliniers de France) http://www.spiruliniersdefrance.fr/Documents/communication-spiruline-bio.pdf
Responsible consumers, be careful! There is currently no European label may certify a spirulina “from organic aquaculture”.Specifications for organic spirulina are still to create.
For some large commercial structures such challenge is that players say “organic” certifications (farms, controllers and certification bodies) will favor label to ethics. Note that these statements are not for the most recognized labels but simple controls certifications (Ecocert, Naturland …). A certifying organization can make its way alone, without official label and by contract with the farm. Analyse the labels and make the difference between a certifying organization (not necessarily control only organic farming!) and a label. So what these so-called spirulina ‘bio’ which mostly come from America or Asia are? Privatization and concealment methods used by these large farms are commonplace. One of the consequences of such an operation is to stop the research of general interest encouraged by the FSF. We spiruliniers of France, have decided to work together, sharing knowledge and transparently. In all cases, we encourage the use of French spirulina: handmade high quality product made from natural strain of spirulina, non-GMO, non-hybrid and grown without pesticides. Spirulina is cultivated in greenhouses protected from various air pollution. Biomass is dewatered, pressed and dried at low temperature. The atomization and radiation do not exist in France. Sprinkles from this process show a smooth and unique spirulina. A local product for responsible consumption!
Myself, I’ve seen in a natural store in Algarve, spirulina sold at a very attractive price which included this organic logo with indication of source: non-EU, taste, and smell were strong and unappetizing. Warning labels and misleading products.
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