Pesticides

It has been well established that micro algal cells provide a larger surface area for attracting pesticide molecules and that they help to predict the extent of pollution in aquatic systems. Among pesticides, organochlorides are the most persistent substances.55

Analyses conducted in samples of Mexican Spirulina found only traces (<0.001 parts per million) of certain organochloride pesticides such as p,p'-dichloro,-diphenyl trichloro etane (DDT) and its metabolites, and confirmed that Spirulina is free of other pesticides,56 which are less toxic than the organophosphate type.

Sanitary Analyses

Testing for bacterial contamination was performed with fresh cultures and dried Spirulina material. Outdoor cultures of this alga had an initial bacterial contamination of 2.0 x 104 CFU mL-1, which increased to 7.0 x 104 mL-1 after 10 days. Bacterial contamination is to be expected, as commercial algae cultures have usually been exposed in basins where neither the medium nor the environment is sterile.35

However, analyses carried out in Mexico have shown no contamination above the permitted levels according to protein and calorie advisory group (PAG) and

International union of pure and applied chemistry (IUAC) stipulations. This is mainly due to sterilization of the algal powder at 120°C.11 Besides bacteria, no reports could be found in the literature on contamination by mould, yeast, fungi, and zooplankton in Spirulina cultures.35

Moreover, in Spirulina samples from Chile no insects, insect fragments, hair or excretions were found alimentos esenciales para la humanidad (AEH).

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