Effects of drying temperatures on spirulina quality
After NASA, ESA (European Space Agency) was also interested in the potential of spirulina to feed its spatial teams during space missions. Since this powdered shape is not an adequate food source for such missions, ESA has teamed up with the CNRS, Europe’s leading scientific research organization, to compare different drying methods and temperatures. in order to conserve as much as possible the nutrients, especially proteins, contained in spirulina.
Effects of temperature on the conservation of Spirulina proteins.
The CNRS researchers compared several different spirulina samples and subjected them to different degrees of temperature (40 ° C – 60 ° C – 70 ° C). They compared these different dryings with fresh spirulina.
Their results show that the best drying temperature corresponds to 40 ° C. This temperature allows the conservation of 90% (on average) spirulina proteins. Above 40 ° C there is no such good conservation of nutritional quality.
Effect of temperature on the constituent filaments Spirulina
Spirulina is composed of 60% protein on average, so CNRS researchers have naturally sought to know about effects of drying on the composition of Spirulina itself.
They demonstrate in their study that a temperature of 40 ° C does not damage the structure of spirulina while a temperature of 60 ° C degrades already significantly.
A temperature of 120 ° C, as usually used by the main industrial productions (in particular Asian), degrades strongly the protein composition of Spirulina. A drying temperature of 40 ° C therefore allows the best preservation of the nutritional qualities of this food.
In conclusion, for its dried form, a drying temperature of 40 ° C is the best way to maintain the structure of spirulina and therefore the amount of protein it contains. This temperature also allows the best preservation of nutrients (such as antioxidants) which are sometimes heat-labile, ie sensitive to heat; and thus to have the best nutritional quality possible for this food.
Hélène Desmorieux and Fabiola Hernandez, of CNRS (2004). Biochemical and Physical Criteria of Spirulina after Different Drying Processes ; in Proceedings of the 14th International Drying Symposium.