Cyanotech, an eight year old aquaculture company. produces over 220,000 pounds per year of a microalgae called Spirulina PacificaTM. Located on the kona coast of the Big Island of Hawaii, Cyanotech uses the deep ocean water pumped from a depth of 2,000 feet to grow the Spirulina.
Spirulina, according to company literature 'has three times the protein of beef, a full Vitamin B complex [ with the highest B12 in any food ], all amino acids, plus the highest food source of natural beta-carotene."
Spirulina is produced in fourteen 480,000 liter culture ponds on fifteen acres in Kona.
The deep ocean water (DOW) is used to grow the algae as well as to dry the algae. DOW provides magnesium, calcium and trace elements for the Spirulina. The ponds are filled with fresh water and supplemented with nutrient-rich DOW. Paddle wheels agitate¡@ the ponds and production is year round. Harvesting is done twice a week.
Cyanotech has applied for a process patent for its unique¡@ drying technology [ Ocean-ChillTM ] which uses the DOW. The process protects oxygen-sensitive nutrients in the algae and provides lower production costs. DOW pre-chills and dehumidifies the gas which is recycled in the drying and provides an oxygen-free environment.
According to Cyanotech, "inde-pendent laboratory analysis has shown that Ocean-ChillTM drying results in a higher potency of Spirulina than freeze drying. The whole harvesting process takes ten minutes from culture pond to Spirulina PacificaTM dried powder".
(contributed by Paul Yuen, member of IOA)