Biomass and nutritive value of Spirulina (Arthrospira fusiformis) cultivated in a cost-effective medium

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Introduction Cultivation of spirulina at commercial-scales relies on analytical grade–based media, which are expensive and so are the product. Purpose This study assessed the biomass, proximate composition, and other useful compounds in Spirulina (Arthrospira fusiformis) produced with a cost-effective culture medium (LCMA), and the results were compared with those from a standard Zarrouk medium–grown spirulina. Methods The LCMA medium was formulated by using a commercial NPK10-20-20 fertilizer as a source of the three major nutrients for spirulina growth, and other three ingredients from Zarrouk medium. The experiment was conducted for 28 days in the glass aquaria under indoor conditions. Standard analytical methods were applied for the determination of proximate composition, chlorophyll, minerals, and vitamins in the spirulina biomass. Result The LCMA medium showed the best growth conditions by accumulating higher chlorophyll content (0.99 ± 0.02%) and dry weight (0.75 ± 0.01 g/100 ml) as well as attaining higher optical density (2.06 at day 15) earlier than the Zarrouk medium. The results of the proximate analysis for spirulina cultured in the LCMA medium were of good quality, with the protein contributing more than 50% of its dry matter. It was further noticed that the LCMA was an ideal medium for optimization of vitamins and some minerals since it recorded a significant amount of most of the analyzed vitamins together with the minerals sodium and potassium compared with the Zarrouk medium. Conclusion It is suggested that LCMA medium could be used as the alternative and cheap medium for maximization of biomass and production of useful biochemical compounds in spirulina species.
Spirulina, Arthrospira fusiformis, Biomass production, Biochemical composition, NPK10-20-20 fertilizer, LCMA medium
Michael, A., Kyewalyanga, M.S. and Lugomela, C.V. (2019). Biomass and nutritive value of Spirulina (Anthrospira fusiformis) cultivated in a cost-effective medium. Annals of Microbiology, 69: 1387-1395.