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  5 - Where do you find Spirulina -

Growing Zone of Spirulina

Where you find hot climate with plenty of sunlight.
Where there is alkaline water in shalIow lakes stirred by gentle winds. GeneralIy speaking, between 35° north and 35° south latitudes throughout the world. Spirulina, like human beings, does best at 37° Celsius - but can tolerate near freezing and temperatures to around 45°C. Wherever you find the Lesser Flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor, in the Eastern Hemisphere) or the James Flamingo (Phoenicoparrus jamesi, in the Western Hemisphere) you know that the water in which they are feeding contains Spirulina, their principal food.

Where you find Flamingo

It is interesting to know that the edges of the beak of the flamingo contain many tiny filter bristles or plateletts. When the bird moves its tongue back and forth, it acts as a pump, bringing water in on the back stroke while the beak is slightly open and pushing the water out through the filtering edges of the beak on the forward thrust. This way the flamingo doesn't swalIow salty water and the Spirulina are trapped inside the beak. As the tongue has a number of backward-pointing spines on its top surface, its pumping action forces the paste of concentrated Spirulina down to the bird's stomach. Nature is very clever.
Flamingo beak
It is not suggested to harvest Spirulina from one of these natural lakes by skimming the concentrated layer of algae which floats on top of the water in the early morning; one doesn't always live near an alkaline lake, and the Spirulina cultures in natural lakes can contain less desirable organisms such as diatoms, flagellates and rotifers, as weIl as detritus. So most Spirulina farms consist of artificial basins where the necessary salts and chemicals are introduced and the culture conditions can be controlled.

kanembous harvesting

Here it is worth noting that Spirulina requires high alkalinity - a pH of between 8.5 and 11.0, plus it can tolerate large quantities of sodium chloride salt. Artificial cultures and the lake cultures generally operate at about pH 10. This high pH fortunately kills nearly all organisms pathogenic for humans, so even the natural lake cultures are safe to eat.
However, we would like constant quantity and quality, longer growing seasons, and the ability to control culture conditions so as to obtain maximum yields while consuming the minimum amount of chemicals, materials, and energy. Here the artificial basins offer many advantages.
Artificial basins can be constructed on otherwise unusable land. lt just has to be f1at - to within one or two centimeters from one end of the basin to the other. For smalI basins this can be done by filling a plastic tube or garden hose with water, stretching it the length of the basin, and turning the two ends skyward. When the water level at the two ends is the same, the two ends are level. For much bigger basins one uses a bulldozer guided by an horizontal laser beam intercepted by a censor located on the bulldozer. This method is precise to one centimeter over a distance of at least one kilometer.
- Introduction ] CD-ROM Spirulina for Reducing Malnutrition - Historic of the World ]
- SPIRULINA Composition  ]   [  - Texcoco Lake Story  ]
 [ -  
WHERE SPIRULINA is found ] [  - Basins  ]   [  - Photosynthesis ]  
- SPIRULINA Production  ]  [  - Laboratory ]  [  - Harvesting ]
- Mix-drying SPIRULINA ]   [  - Starting ]  [ Problems and Solutions  ] 
[  -
- Why should we grow SPIRULINA ? : for nutrition and health ]
- Public Information-paper on SPIRULINAuseful links ]


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