Potential application of microalga Spirulina platensis as a protein source

J Sci Food Agric. 2017 Feb;97(3):724-732. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.7987. Epub 2016 Sep 12.


The high protein level of various microalgal species is one of the main reasons to consider them an unconventional source of this compound. Spirulina platensis stands out for being one of the richest protein sources of microbial origin (460-630 g kg-1 , dry matter basis), having similar protein levels when compared to meat and soybeans. The use of S. platensis in food can bring benefits to human health owing to its chemical composition, since it has high levels of vitamins, minerals, phenolics, essential fatty acids, amino acids and pigments. Furthermore, the development of new protein sources to supply the shortage of this nutrient is an urgent need, and protein from S. platensis plays an important role in this scenario. In this sense, extraction processes that allow maximum protein yield and total utilization of biomass is an urgent need, and ultrasonic waves have proven to be an effective extraction technique. The number of scientific papers related to protein fraction from S. platensis is still limited; thus further studies on its functional and technological properties are needed. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

Keywords: integrated biorefineries; microalgae potential; protein extraction; protein failure; single cell protein.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / analysis
  • Animal Feed / adverse effects
  • Animal Feed / economics
  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Bacterial Proteins / chemistry
  • Bacterial Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Bacterial Proteins / therapeutic use*
  • Dietary Proteins / chemistry
  • Dietary Proteins / economics
  • Dietary Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Dietary Proteins / therapeutic use*
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Fermentation
  • Food Contamination / prevention & control
  • Food Supply* / economics
  • Food Supply* / history
  • Global Health*
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Microalgae / chemistry*
  • Microalgae / growth & development
  • Microalgae / isolation & purification
  • Microalgae / metabolism
  • Nutritive Value
  • Photobioreactors
  • Protein Deficiency / economics
  • Protein Deficiency / prevention & control
  • Spirulina / chemistry*
  • Spirulina / growth & development
  • Spirulina / isolation & purification
  • Spirulina / metabolism


  • Amino Acids
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Dietary Proteins