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Spirulina: trace minerals content, consumer tastes, and green foods

Monday, October 25, 2004
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...)
Tags: Cyanotech, spirulina, microalgae

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Mike: You mention that trace minerals are part of the food you provide to the spirulina cultures. Are these the same trace minerals that are found in ocean water, then, and how much are absorbed by the spirulina?

Gerry: Well, we actually use something very unique which I don't think is duplicated anywhere in the world and that is at each batch of spirulina we produce, we add a measured amount of this deep sea water that is very rich in trace minerals. It actually provides all 96 trace minerals known, and it is absorbed very well. Spirulina is excellent at absorbing and really naturally chelating these minerals into a bioavailable form.

Mike: So, what we typically call an organic form of trace minerals, I think it's important for people to understand the difference, because if someone is just drinking trace minerals from seawater, that's a very different molecular form than what's found in the spirulina, correct?

Gerry: That's correct. It's usually associated or chelated with some other compounds that make it much more bioavailable to the body.

Mike: Let me ask you about the taste of spirulina, because many people, if they're not used to consuming these superfoods, the first thing that happens when they see something that has spirulina in it, like a blended shake of some kind, they're a little shocked -- it's sort of bluish-green. When they taste it, at first they might be a little shocked, but over time, the taste tends to become quite likable. What has been your experience with customers and the taste of spirulina?

Gerry: Well, it's been very similar. It certainly has what we call a mild sea-vegetable taste and smell. It's interesting that we do have Japanese customers, when they come by, from the very beginning they love the taste and the smell of the spirulina. They're much more into eating seafoods and sea vegetables. But you're absolutely right -- spirulina put into any kind of a shake or a smoothie definitely turns it very vividly green-blue. In a shake or smoothie the taste can certainly be masked with other things like apple juice or pineapple juice, so it doesn't taste bad at all. But as you take spirulina, you do develop a taste for it -- it's something that I've come to enjoy.

Mike: Indeed. I second that -- over a period of months I came to enjoy it, and now if it's not in the smoothie, I miss it.

Gerry: I agree.

Mike: What about products on the shelf that contain Cyanotech's spirulina? What are some popular products that people can look for?

Gerry: Well, certainly there are a lot of, as you mentioned, smoothie bars that people add spirulina to. Spirulina is in a number of drink mixes, dried drink mixes that can be purchased in health food stores. It's in some energy bars that I know of. The major way that spirulina is sold is in either tablets or powder for individuals to add to foods or smoothies.

Mike: And is there a way that people can purchase these supplements directly from your company?

Gerry: Well, not from Cyanotech. Cyanotech supplies bulk raw materials to other manufacturers, but we do have a subsidiary called Nutrex Hawaii -- Nutrex for "nutritional excellence" -- and the Nutrex Hawaii product, the spirulina pacifica, is available in about 3500 health food stores across the country, and in addition it can be purchased over the web at http://www.nutrex-hawaii.com.

Mike: Okay. So that's a retail site -- they can buy there and have it shipped to them?

Gerry: Right.

This article is part of an exclusive interview with Dr. Gerry Cysewski, CEO and founder of Cyanotech Corporation http://www.cyanotech.com, located in Kona, Hawaii. Cyanotech's spirulina and astaxanthin products are available in retail stores (look for products made with "Hawaiian spirulina") or through Nutrex-Hawaii at http://www.nutrex-hawaii.com.

The aerial photo on the left shows Cyanotech's farms. The dark green culture ponds contain spirulina, while the reddish ponds contain astaxanthin in various stages of growth. The dark land mass on the right is a lava field.

Editors note: Spirulina is one of the superfoods I consume on a daily basis. Due to my passion about superfoods nutrition, I traveled to Kona, Hawaii to conduct a series of interviews with Cyanotech personnel. To find all available articles on Cyanotech, just type "Cyanotech" in the search box below. New articles are being added regularly.

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About the author:Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is a best selling author (#1 best selling science book on Amazon.com) and a globally recognized scientific researcher in clean foods. He serves as the founding editor of NaturalNews.com and the lab science director of an internationally accredited (ISO 17025) analytical laboratory known as CWC Labs. There, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for achieving extremely high accuracy in the analysis of toxic elements in unknown water samples using ICP-MS instrumentation. Adams is also highly proficient in running liquid chromatography, ion chromatography and mass spectrometry time-of-flight analytical instrumentation.

Adams is a person of color whose ancestors include Africans and Native American Indians. He's also of Native American heritage, which he credits as inspiring his "Health Ranger" passion for protecting life and nature against the destruction caused by chemicals, heavy metals and other forms of pollution.

Adams is the founder and publisher of the open source science journal Natural Science Journal, the author of numerous peer-reviewed science papers published by the journal, and the author of the world's first book that published ICP-MS heavy metals analysis results for foods, dietary supplements, pet food, spices and fast food. The book is entitled Food Forensics and is published by BenBella Books.

In his laboratory research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products.

In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Through the non-profit CWC, Adams also launched Nutrition Rescue, a program that donates essential vitamins to people in need. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released over a dozen popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at HealthRanger.com.

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