Intergovernmental Institution for the Use of Micro-Algae Spirulina Against Malnutrition

Intergovernmental Observer to the United Nations Economic and Social Council Under ECOSOC Resolution 2003/212 Dated 5th of March 2003.
Designated by the United Nations Economic & Social Council Under Rule 79 of the Council’s Rules and Procedures.

IN SUPPORT OF THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM FOR A BETTER WORLD AND THE UNITED NATIONS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS 2015 - 2030

What is Spirulina?

Spirulina is an edible micro-algae, rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. In a close-up photo, Spirulina is green in color and spiral in shape, and its size is just as large as 0.5 mm. The name originates from a Latin word that means “spiral” or “twisted”. History indicates that Maya people in ancient Mexico enjoyed Spirulina as a valuable source of protein, due to its remarkable nutrition value and absorption rate. You can find the characteristics of Spirulina in below. 1) It appeared on earth approximately 3.5 billion years ago. It has thrived until today with an extreme vitality. 2) It is rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. Especially, the Amino acid score is close to 100%, which makes Spriulina an ideal source of protein. Spirulina is considered as “a perfect food”, because it contains almost all of the 46 essential nutrients. 3) Its digestive absorption rate of nutrients is 95%. This is important because nutritional components taken into a body can demonstrate its value only when they are 4) properly digested and absorbed. 5) It can be easily cultivated in tropical climate. 6) It has relatively low production cost compared to other kinds of food.

nutritional chain of life
Spirulina was discovered and named as “Spirulina” in 1927 by a German micro-algae specialist, Dr. Trupin. Spirulina has begun to receive international attention as a food when Dr. Cleman from French Petroleum Institute introduced it in the conference of International Union of Microbiological Society. Realizing Spirulina’s high quality and highly absorbable nutritional contents, he claimed the potential of Spirulina as a solution to food crisis which can be caused by a rapid global population growth. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has studied about Controlled Ecological Life Support System, which enables continuous cultivation of algae in the longterm. Application of this system may realize self-production of food and oxygen necessary for human life in space station and base camps on the Moon or Mars. NASA also has been conducting researches on Spirulina as a future space food. United Nation has utilized Spirulina as a nutrition supplement for refugees in Croatia and Africa.

Conditions Required to Cultivate Spirulina
Spirulina grows in the water with high temperature and rich in alkali. Under this unique condition, other micro-organisms are kept out, which in turn maintains a decent environment for Spirulina’s growth.
1. Plenty of sunlight
2. High temperature (water temperature between 30℃~35℃)
3. Rich alkaline water
Productivity of Spirulina is fairly high. Neither land fertility nor water purity is necessary. With only a small piece of land and little water, a plenty of protein can be obtained.

comparison of water usage for protein sources
Photo of hungry child helped by IIMSAM "THERE ARE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD SO HUNGRY THAT GOD CANNOT APPEAR TO THEM EXCEPT IN THE FORM OF BREAD."

-Mahatma Gandhi