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SPIRULINA: THE BENEFICIAL ALGAE. Tulika Mishra, Mahavir Joshi, Sanpreet Singh, Pallavi Jain, Ratan Kaur, Sakeena Ayub, Karamjeet Kaur

SPIRULINA: THE BENEFICIAL ALGAE.

Tulika Mishra, Mahavir Joshi, Sanpreet Singh, Pallavi Jain, Ratan Kaur, Sakeena Ayub, Karamjeet Kaur

International Journal of Applied Microbiology Science 2013; 2(3):21-35

Abstract

Arthospira (spirulina) is a photosynthetic, spiral-shaped, multicellular and blue-green alga. Cell division occurs by binary fission. As it contains chlorophyll a, like higher plants botanist classify it as micro alga belonging to Cyanophceae class; but according to bacteriologists it is a bacterium due to its prokaryotic structure. Mexicans started using this microorganism as human food. Its chemical composition contains proteins (55%-70%), carbohydrates (15%-25%) and essential fatty acids (18%) vitamins, minerals and pigments like carotenes, chlorophyll and phycocyanin, pigments are used in food and cosmetic industries. Spirulina is considered as excellent food, lacking toxicity and have anticancer, antiviral, immunological properties and it also acts as a potent antioxidant. There has been a significant change in spirulina functions under stress conditions.

Keywords: Arthospira (spirulina), blue-green alga, pigments, potent antioxidant
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