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 CFPPA-HYERES Spirulina Training Program


"spirulina WORLD program"
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  11 - mix-drying of Spirulina -
Present day commercial farms which are producing from 30 to500 tons pf Spirulina per year use spray-dryers - the advantages and disadvantages of which I have described. And I have mentioned the newer concept of mix-drying that produces the complete food product that the Aztecs and Kanembous made without the need of costly heavy machinery and high power consumption that are associated with a spray dryer.
The algae cake contains from 70 to 80% water and you must reduce the water content to between 3 and 7% total humidity in order to be able to keep the product from fermenting and to keep its high nutrition value. This can be done simply by mixing the algae cake with the proper amount of dry, precooked cereal flour such as wheat, maize, millet, rice, oats, barley, etc..
For example, to obtain 5 grams of dried Spirulina, one needs 26.3 ml of algae cake, which weighs 25 grams. Mixing flour with algae cake in a volume ratio of 10:1, one would need 263 ml of wheat flour, which weighs 110 grams. So, the mixture is 25 grams of algae cake and 110 grams of flour .
The flour would contain 396 kilocalories of energy and, at 10% protein, would contain 11 grams of protein. A child of 4 to 6 years requires 1000 to 1700 kilocalories a day, so the mixture would provide 40% of the calories and 14.25 grams of the necessary 15.39 grams of protein.
By controlling the mixing time and the temperature of the dry flour, one can reach other desired balances of calories and protein for children of other ages while still arriving at a product with final humidity of between 3 and 7%.
Mix-dryer Photo: Forberg
Mix-dryer for spirulina

We find that there is already a machine perfectly suited for mix-drying of Spirulina - the standard 2-shaft, contra-rotating multipaddle mixer made by Ingeniorfirmaet Halvor Forberg, in Larvik, Norway. This mixer is manufactured in many different sizes; and while usually they are powered by electric motors, it is possible to drive the machine manually (including a 20-liter model) for those areas where electricity is not available.
For the Spirulina-cereal mixture, one first pre-cooks the flour in the mixer. This is done with a heat source underneath the mixer, while the mixing paddles are in motion. This not only starts the breakdown of starch but also reduces the humidity level in the flour to practically nil. When adding the wet algae cake to the hot flour (around 85°C) the remaining heat in the flour is absorbed quickly and a flash pasturization takes place. The efficiency of the mixing machine is so great that mix-drying is accomplished within 10 seconds after admitting the Spirulina cake; and the temperature of mixture has dropped to little,more than the ambiant temperature with the same time.

The mixed product, which is a fine powder (but can if desired be granulated in the mixer or pelletized between steel rollers) is stored until ready for use in metallized plastic bags to prevent nutrient loss through oxidation.
Soups and sauces with balanced nutrition can be made from the mixed product simply by adding clean hot water, or it can be sprinkled over other foods (using a measuring spoon to assure the right dose). The dried mixture is a very light greenish gray color. In water or when cooked it is a light olive green.
Another possibility is to mix-dry only until the water content reaches 40% and then run the mixture through a noodle making machine and finish drying in a solar dryer or an oven.

spiruline & bread
Spirulina & cereals = bread
I calI the mix-dried Spirulina products:" Cerealina "or " Spirugrains ", or " Spiruwheat ", " Spirucorn ", " Spiruoats ", "Spirurice ", etc.. Various flavors can be added during the mix-drying process to suit the local taste preferences