The taxonomy of Spirulina platensis

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2.1 Spirulina platensis- An Introduction

Kingdom- Bacteria

Phylum- Cyanobacteria

Class- Cynophyceae

Order- Oscillatorials

Family- Phormidiaceae

Genus- Arthospira

Taken by (Tomaselli, L. 1997)


A. platensis Gomont, 1892 (syn. S. platensis Geitler, 1925, S. jenneri var. platensis or Oscillatoria platensis Bourrelly, 1970) are filamentous cyanobacteria recognized by the main morphological characteristics of their genus

Under light microscopy, the blue-green non-heterocystous filaments, compiled of vegetative cells that go through binary fission in a single plane, demonstrate easily-visible transverse cross-walls. Filaments are lonely and free floating and show gliding motility. The trichomes, covered by a thin sheath, illustrate more or less slightly uttered constrictions at cross-walls and have apices either to some extent or not at all attenuated. Apical cells are widely rounded or pointed and may be capitate and calyptrate.

The broadness of the trichomes, composed of cylindrical shorter than broad cells varies from about 6 to 12 μm (16 μm) in a variety of forms. Trichome elongation happened by multiple intercalary cell divisions along the filament. Multiplication done only by fragmentation i.e. the trichome breakage is transcellular by damage of an intercalary cell, sacrificial cell (necridium), or lysing off a cell (Balloni et. al., 1980; Tomaselli et. al., 1981).

2.1.2 Ultrastructure

The multilayered cell wall is thin, about 40–60nm, and has an easily-detectable electron-dense layer matching to the peptidoglycan. The repeatedly spaced cross-walls that parted the trichome into cells, linked by plasmodesmata, are shaped by centripetal in increase and addition of both the peptidoglycan and the more internal layer of the cell wall toward the centre

Review of Literature of the cell. Thus, the cross walls have a tripartite structure. Most regularly the arrangement of These enclosures have a specific arrangement and allotment inside the cytoplasm (Tomaselli et. al., 1993). The peripheral part of the cell is featured by a low electron-dense cytoplasm primarily filled with polyglucan granules and gas vacuoles. There are also small osmiophilic granules, fibrils and lipid droplets. The thylakoid membranes, situated between the peripheral and the central cytoplasm, are placed in parallel and have incorporated electron-opaque phycobilisomes. 2.1.3 Human Consumption

The first records made of the uses of Spirulina were as a food and what seems to be a major source of protein supply to native tribes in South America and Africa. The re-introduction of Spirulina as a health food for human consumption in the late 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s was associated with many controversial claims which attribute to Spirulina a role of a ‘magic agent’ that could do almost everything, from curing specific cancer to antibiotic and antiviral activity. Since most claims were never backed up by detailed scientific and medical research, they will not be discussed in this chapter. Nevertheless, one cannot ignore the fact that more than 70 per cent of the current Spirulina market is for human consumption, mainly as health food. Although health food may present a very profitable sector of the Spirulina market, it is going to remain relatively a small market because of many constraints and problems in marketing, especially for producers who do not have experience or connections. Thus, any increase in volume market of Spirulina is going to be mainly from sales as a high-value feed additive in aquaculture and poultry nutrition rather than, what was initially predicted in the early 1970s, as a major protein supplement in human nutrition.

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2.1.4 Nutrients

Its cell wall consists of polysaccharide which has a digestibility of 86%, and could be easily absorbed by human body (Li and Qi, 1997; Pugh et. al., 2001).

Pills and capsules made from Spirulina have been used as a supplement food. Spirulina is also used in noodles, stylish noodles, nutritious, beverages, candies, cookies, natural coloring in chewing gums etc. (Li and Qi, 1997; Henrikson, 1994). Pills and capsules made from Spirulina have been used as a supplement food. Spirulina is also used in noodles, stylish noodles, nutritious, beverages, candies, cookies, natural coloring in chewing gums etc. (Li and Qi, 1997; Henrikson, 1994). It has also anti-arthritic affect due to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties of phycocyanin (Ramirez et. al., 2002), anti-atherogenic property (Kaji et. al., 2002), tumor burden inhibition (Dasgupta et. al., 2001) and cell degeneration (Bulik, 1993).

2.1.5. Vitamins and Minerals present in Spirulina powder

The value of different vitamins present in Spirulina powder are following (Belay, 1997) Provitamin A is 2.330×103IU/kg, β- carotene is 140 mg /100g, Vitamin E is 100 α-tocopherol equiv., Thiamin B1 is 3.5 mg/ 100g, Riboflavin B2 is 4 mg/100g, Niacin B3 is 14 mg/ 100g, Vitamin B6 is 0.8 mg/ 100g, Vitamin B12 is 0.32 mg/ 100g, Biotin is 0.005 mg/ 100g, Folic acid is 0.01 mg/100g, Pantothenic acid is 0.1 mg/ 100g and Vitamin K is 2.2 mg/ 100g.

The value of different minerals present in Spirulina powder are following (Belay, 1997) Calcium is 700mg/ 100g, Chromium is 0.28mg/ 100g, Copper is 1.2 mg/100g, Iron is 100 mg/100g, Magnesium is 400 mg/100g, Manganese is 5 mg/100g, Phosphorus is 800 mg/100g, Potassium is 1400 mg/100g, Sodium is 900 mg/100g and Zinc is 3 mg/100g.

2.2 Whey

Whey is a healthy by product from cheese, chhana and paneer industry holding valuable nutrients like lactose, proteins, minerals and vitamins etc. which have requisite value as human food. Whey comprises 45-50% of total milk solids, 70% of milk sugar (lactose), 20% of

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In India, it is estimated that about 100 million kg of whey is yearly obtained as a byproduct which is the reason ample loss of about 70,000 tonnes of nutritious whey solids (Parekh, 2006). 2.2.1 Nutritious value

Depend on the type of casein coagulation; whey is of two types sweet or acid. Composition and properties of whey mainly depend on the technology of cheese manufacture and on the quality of milk used for cheese production (Tratnik, 1998).

According to the Jelen, 2003 sweet whey contains following components; Total solid 63-70 g/L, Lactose 46-52 g/L, Protein 6-10 g/L, Calcium 0.4-0.6 g/L, Phosphates 1-3 g/L, Lactatase 2 g/L and Chlorides 1.1 g/L. while the acid whey contains Total solid 63-70 g/L, Lactose 44-46 g/L, Protein 6-8 g/L, Calcium 1.2-1.6 g/L, Phosphates 2-4.5 g/L, Lactatase 6.4 g/L and Chlorides 1.1 g/L.

Average composition whey is approximately 93% water and 50% of total solids present in the milk of which lactose is the main ingredient. Whey proteins make less than 1% of dry matter (Beucler et. al., 2005).

Minerals and milk fat are also present in very less amounts. However, whey composition is very changeable and notably depends on the technique of whey production. Most difference in the composition is in contents of calcium, phosphates, lactic acid and lactate which are present in a lot high amounts in acid whey.