African Journal of
Food Science

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Food Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0794
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJFS
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 924

Full Length Research Paper

Nutritional evaluation of single-cell protein produced by Spirulina platensis

Lidiane Muniz Moreira¹, Andréa da Silva Ramos Rocha², Carmen Lúcia Garcez Ribeiro³, Rosane da Silva Rodrigues4 and Leonor Almeida de Souza Soares¹*
¹Food Science Laboratory, Chemistry and Food School, Federal University of Rio Grande, Brazil. ²Faculty of Pharmacy, Catholic University of Pelotas, Brazil. ³Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil. 4Department of Food Science, Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 29 November 2011
  •  Published: 15 December 2011


The aim of this research was to evaluate the nutritional characteristics and possible toxic effects of microalgae Spirulina LEB-18, developed in south of Brazil. The biomass was evaluated for 40 days through nutritional responses, obtained by the development of Wistar rats and also by biochemical and hematological study of the blood of these animals. Four isoproteic diets were prepared (12% protein): (1) Control diet, 12% (w/w) of casein; (2) Diet S1, 8.8% (w/w) of Spirulina; (3) Diet S2, 17.6% (w/w) of Spirulina; (4) Diet S3, 26.4% (w/w) of Spirulina, distributed to the animals according to their treatment (n = 6). As to nutritional parameters the S1 treatment was more efficient. The groups did not differ in regard to biochemical determinations in blood, with the exception of S2, which showed creatinine levels lower than all others. In hematologic profile, the S3 treatment showed hematocrit and hemoglobin levels greater than the control diet. These results revealed no toxicity by the use of microalgae and it suggests the use of Spirulina as a potential source of single-cell protein.

Key words: Cyanobacteria, growing rats, nutritional evaluation, Spirulina.