Int. J. Biosci.16(6), 121-128, June 2020
Spirulina platensis is a biomass of cyanobacteria traditionally used for hundred years worldwide for its nutritional and pharmacological benefits. So far, this microscopic organism has not undergone many scientific studies in East Africa. Therefore, evaluating its nutritional properties could help to justify its potential and promote its utilization in the region. In this study, the determination of vitamins was performed by using a high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method. Analysis of minerals and heavy metals was performed by using atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS). The protein content of Spirulina platensis was determined by using the Kjeldahl method. The spectrophotometry method was used for phytochemical analysis. The results showed that the vitamin A, vitamin B9 and vitamin B12 content of Spirulina platensis was 27.4 g/100g, 246.89 g/100g, and 3.87 g/100g respectively. Concentrations of iron, zinc, calcium, and phosphorous in spirulina platensis were found to be 82.2 mg/100g, 85.1 mg/100g, 1300 mg/100g, and 600 mg/100g respectively. The protein content of spirulina platensis was 46 g/100g. The concentrations of total phenolic and total flavonoid in spirulina platensis found to be 2.99 mg GAE/g and 1.92 mg QE/g respectively. These data indicated that the nutrient concentration of spirulina platensis is enough to meet the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of most essential nutrients. Mercury, lead, cadmium and arsenic contents of spirulina platensis was 0.000036 mg/kg, 0.0047 mg/kg, 0.00048 mg/kg and 0.0047 mg/kg respectively. All the analyzed heavy metals were within the recommended EU safety limits. Our findings confirmed the nutritional potential of Spirulina platensis cultivated in East Africa. Thus, Spirulina platensis could be considered as a potential alternative source of sustainable nutrition to address malnutrition in the region.
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