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Spirulina Nibs (90g) - RAW - Gourmet Spirulina

 

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Description

*Out of stock with the supplier.* Discover UK’s first and only raw spirulina! Gourmet Spirulina was founded by two passionate French entrepreneurs with a background in spirulina production. They offer three forms of culinary spirulina: spirulina crunchies, spirulina nibs and spirulina petals. All three of our formats of raw spirulina have an equivalent nutritional quality but the tastes and textures are different due to the application of specific post-harvest techniques and the differences in natural conditions between the production areas.

100% pure spirulina dehydrated at ambient temperatures (< 42 °C) with no additives.

Fair trade production; free from pesticides and phytochemicals. Please read on..

"Gourmet Spirulina dehydrated spirulina petals/nibs/crunchies must be differentiated from non-culinary product given the wide differences in the manufacturing process, the final product and its possible uses. Our spirulina petals/nibs/crunchies are produced with 100% pure spirulina. Although they differ in shape and format, they are simply differentiated during the drying process and are fundamentally the exact same product, except for a slight variation in taste due to slightly different growing conditions, most notably humidity during the drying process, solar irradiation, and mineral content of the water (a terroir in the proper sense).

The process behind our culinary spirulinas is the same however: when the microscopic algae spirulina is harvested, the microsopic spiral-shaped organisms intertwine and form a purée of biomass which is then pressed to extract the water medium. This biomass is then extruded and, to obtain culinary spirulina, we then spread it as sheets before dehydration to produce petals, long twines to obtain nibs, and short twines to produce crunchies. To better preserve spirulina's natural good taste, we simply dry the spirulina at quasi-ambient temperatures (under 42°C) under low humidity levels, a process which takes a few hours.

Non-culinary spirulina is a completely different product altogether. Also generally produced with 100% pure spirulina (though anti-caking agents are sometimes added in powder and most tablets use binding agents), the biomass is spray-dried at temperatures of 80°C to 120°C: droplets of biomass are projected on a hot metal surface and instantly dried, falling in a collection tank in the form of very fine powder. All fine powders are produced this way.

The process is industrially extremely efficient, cut costs and makes it easier to control the bacteriological quality of the product without having exacting hygienic standards, but the high temperatures have a very strong impact on the palatability of the product due to enzymatic reactions as well as on the general composition (and therefore nutritional quality) of the product. For instance, the content of spirulina's blue pigment called phycocyanin falls from around 25% of dry weight in fresh spirulina to 18–25% in our spirulina products but 15% in the best non-culinary spirulina (Hawaiian spirulina: spray-dried at only 80°C and in an oxygen-deprived environment) and south of 1% in the case of the worst non-culinary spirulina (most Thai and Chinese spirulina).

Ingredients

Spirulina

Nutritional Information

Nutritional Informationper 100g
Energy373 kcal 1562 kj 
Fat5 g
of which saturates2.7 g
Carbohydrate16 g
- of which sugars7 g
Dietary Fiber -
Protein65 g
Salt3 mg

Further Information

Why prepare genuinely raw spirulina?

For the outcome of course. Genuinely raw spirulina has the best taste, far from the “pond scum in a pouch” approach that dominates the market. It also better preserves the fragile nutrients of spirulina than the damaging techniques typically used – mainly spray-drying, which consists of spraying fresh spirulina in a flow of hot air exceeding 100°C.

When we first started, culinary spirulina was barely a thing. The core message was that spirulina was good for the health and nobody really cared about anything else than its benefits. We were different. We were passionate about spirulina and believed that spirulina was first and foremost a food. We were fascinated with the natural good taste of fresh spirulina and worked hard to find a way to share that good taste we get at the farm.

How is the raw spirulina processed?

Minimally processed would be a fairer term as we really do our best not to interfere with the product and we present a dehydrated form that is as close as possible to the fresh product.

First of all, the spirulina is harvested from our cultivation pools: when they are filtered, the microscopic spirals interwine and form a paste with the density of a smoothie. This paste is washed and then dewatered using a source of pressure or a vacuum (depending on our farm). When then extrude it, which is basically giving a fine shape that will make the drying happen in good conditions.

This stage is very much like what happens with pasta and before they are dried, our nibs actually look like spirulina spaghetti! Finally, the remaining moisture is then evacuated by applying a dry air flow.

As a result, our genuinely raw spirulina is presented in interesting sprinklable formats – nibs, crunchies, petals, flakes.

No powder here as fine powder is clearly an indicator of spray-drying and the only reason why you’ll fine spirulina powder labelled as “raw” is that unfortunately there is no legislation on the subject and many marketers have understood the demand for raw products but aren’t ready to put the effort and extra cost to set up a proper supply chain to actually get raw spirulina.

RAW

Unfortunately there is no "raw" certification agency which can help us prove our process is indeed raw. We have recently ordered some lab analyses to prove that the enzymatic profile is very different from industrial spirulinas, which should prove that the Maillard reaction which happens above 42°C hasn't occurred in our spirulinas. The use of this kind of analysis is very novel and should make it easier to control. Starting this end of year, we will also be testing sensors which will be placed with the spirulina along the whole process to track the temperature during the whole of the process and we will make this data publicly available.

ORGANIC

In the absence of an official EU standard for organic spirulina, we have chosen to produce our spirulina in the spirit of the organic movement but with a source of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer.

QUALITY CRITERIA

  • Strict quality specifications for microbiological quality and heavy metals content.
  • Total traceability with systematic batch analysis.
  • Nutritional claims (all EFSA-compliant)
  • Rich in iron
  • Provitamin A β-carotene (normal function of the immune system)
  • Vitamin K2 (maintenance of normal bone)
  • Vitamin B12 (vegetarians, senior citizens)
  • Iron (fights against tiredness and fatigue).

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

GHG of international transport prior to carbon mitigation: 9.9 kg CO2 eq. per net kg of spirulina nibs or petals and 20.4 kg CO2 eq. per net kg of spirulina crunchies. As a result of our annual carbon compensation scheme, the final GHG emissions of our logistical chain and transportation are 0 kg CO2 eq. per net kg of spirulina.

Primary packaging analysis: laminated 147 μm-thick BOPP/ALU/LPDE pouches, BPA- and phtalate-free, with no contact between the product and the aluminium layer.

Eco-certified labels and leaflets (French Imprim'vert standard).

Podcast

Click HERE to listen to this podcast interview with Charly Margain of Gourmet Spirulina. He discusses the process of making truly raw spirulina, as well as the benefits of this incredible superfood, and how his company works to share the wonders of spirulina with as many people as possible.

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