Take control of your quality
Spirulina is a popular superfood, rich in protein and good for the immune system. But the production process brings with it some difficult challenges. Keeping spirulina strains healthy over the winter is not easy, and during the growing season there is a risk of culture breakdown, or the sudden death of the culture.
The need for a reliable starter inoculum is high, because the risk of contamination is always present. As with anything, however, it is both the quality and quantity of your culture that will determine performance on the market.
Cryopreservation: the saviour of your culture
You are looking for a way to minimise uncertainties, we understand that. But what SCK CEN can also do is help you regain control over your spirulina production. How? With a world first: our years of space research have resulted in a method of freezing and defrosting spirulina alive without loss of quality and without risk of contamination.
Guaranteeing continuous quality.
We know how to do it.
How do you stay in control of your production process?
Whether you're a small grower with a few tanks, a mass producer, or a research institute growing spirulina in labs, keeping your stock culture healthy is your top priority. There are a great many risks involved both in keeping pure cultures alive under lab conditions and starting new cultures from a fellow grower's starter inoculum. The risk of contamination with pathogens cannot be underestimated.
And the few certainties of the production process constantly put your product, your client portfolio, and your reputation next spring at risk.
SCK CEN can help you to keep your assets all year round
SCK CEN has found a method of preserving spirulina by freezing it. We preserve the strain under the exact conditions in which it was supplied, including the balance with other micro-organisms, nutrients and minerals. All that remains for you to do is to prepare your tanks to receive the collection after the winter or after a breakdown. This allows you to continue your cultivation in optimal conditions.
SCK CEN & Spirulina: what is the basis of the expertise?
Our interest in spirulina stems from our space research. As a nuclear research centre, the task of SCK CEN is to unravel everything about cosmic radiation and bacteria.
How do micro-organisms behave in space? Can astronauts use them to produce their own oxygen, food, and water in space? Our research is conducted both in space and on Earth and therefore provides a wealth of knowledge and experience. You can take advantage of this too.
INSPIRATION: The fight against chronic malnutrition
SCK CEN is keen to convert the results of its research into valuable applications for society. We share our knowledge – by making it available to you as a spirulina producer, for example – and we set up a social commitment through the INSPIRATION project. For example, we are developing and supporting the cultivation of spirulina in the Democratic Republic of Congo where 43% of all children under the age of five are chronically malnourished and we believe that the nutritious spirulina can be an important weapon in tackling this.