Spirulina is gaining worldwide acceptance as a food ingredient (and SUPER-food ingredient, no less) due to its availability and sustainability of production, extraordinary nutritional and bioactive properties, and plentiful functional properties.
Like most agriculture, the conditions need to be right for it to thrive. In spite of the fact that it can be cultivated in both fresh and saltwater environments, it grows best in alkaline lakes with a very high pH. As algae, it requires lots of sunlight, so there are certain parts of the world that have proven especially good for its growth, including Greece, Japan, India, Spain, and, thankfully for us, the United States.
The Spirulina in SNACK comes from an incredible Rhode Island farm, led by growing experts Larry and Amy of Agcore Technologies. To help understand the magic of their Spirulina product, we asked Larry and Amy how they do it.
From Farm to Fork… Spirulina – The SNACK Way
Farming Spirulina starts with a sample of Spirulina cells that are cultivated in clean laboratory conditions where special RBG lighting, aeration, agitation, and temperature controls are in place. As the density increases the Spirulina is transferred to scale-up tanks. Most Spirulina in the world is grown in large, man-made open ponds while SNACK Spirulina is grown in tall, enclosed vertical bioreactors inside greenhouses. Our product is harvested daily year-round using a series of proprietary “gravity-p” filtration units. We only use natural lightening and quality nutrients; no herbicides, fungicides, or pesticides are used! Our team of bio-farmers controls the process and then transfers the harvest, which looks like green pudding to the processing center where it is converted into fresh, nutritious powder or into products such as SNACK.
How the process of the Spirulina farmed in SNACK differs from other products…
In comparison to other Spirulina growers in the industry, our Spirulina production has four key advantages: higher product integrity, better yields, superior product lines, and a great depth of knowledge and expertise.
1. Higher product integrity
The Spirulina in our products is grown in enclosed tanks and greenhouses, which limits the number of things the Spirulina encounters and thus grants high product integrity. Competitors most often grow Spirulina in larger outdoor ponds that can be unsanitary and provide less control over the growing process.
2. Better yields
The tanks used to grow the Spirulina in SNACK are eight feet tall, while others in the industry use one-foot shallow ponds. The taller tanks allow for a higher density of algae per square foot and when this is combined with a patented process that increases production efficiencies, the result is a greater overall yield.
3. Superior product line
Most competitors produce a spray-dried Spirulina powder that uses high heat and pressure, which can damage enzymes, amino acids, and nutrients. The Spirulina in SNACK however is dehydrated at a raw temperature of 115 degrees Fahrenheit and is the only company that produces Spirulina snacks straight from (and on) the farm.
4. Depth of knowledge and expertise
Having a proven record of growing high-quality Spirulina for over seven years, the team being the Spirulina in SNACK has developed significant expertise and product know-how, which only continues to deepen and get more extensive as the operation continues.
Why farming Spirulina is so eco-friendly
Agcore is specifically committed to eco-friendly growing practices, and it helps that Spirulina is already quite an environmentally friendly product to grow on its own. To start, because the Spirulina is grown in water tanks, there’s no need for large amounts of soil and arable land (there’s no need for any amount!)—which also means there’s no need for pesticides or fungicides. The grow water is recycled and reused, which eliminates water waste, and Spirulina is a net consumer of carbon dioxide, which means its growth actually helps fight air pollution. Additionally, it’s a fast-growing, year-round crop.
Agcore grows all their Spirulina in a protected, non-GMO environment, and they have a strong commitment to working with local universities and professionals for outside steps and products needed throughout the process.