Phycocyanin is a high-value extraction from Spirulina. Phycocyanin has a strong anti-oxidant property and one of the few natural blue colorants in the food industry.
Vertical farming (VF) is a source of high-quality, accessible, and climate-friendly nutrition for rapidly growing urban populations. To realize VF’s potential as a food source, innovative technologies are required to ensure that VF can be industrialized on a massive scale, and extended beyond leafy greens and fruits into the production of food staples or row crops. A major obstacle to the economic sustainability of VF is the amount of lighting energy consumed and it is important to consider the implications of this energy consumption in terms of both environmental impact and profitability.
The team at BYAS (US) conducted a controlled trial to evaluate the biostimulant (non-nutrient, biological growth improvement) potential of a phycocyanin-rich Spirulina extract (PRSE) in hydroponically grown, vertically farmed lettuce. The treated lettuce was more robust; had firmer texture, stronger aroma and more intense flavor.
This preliminary study demonstrates the potential of Spirulina in improving the economic sustainability of the nascent, but rapidly growing VF sector.
Source: Breakthrough biological innovation - the key to profitable and sustainable vertical farming