PHYCOCYANIN CONTENT OF SPIRULINA PLATENSIS DRIED IN SPOUTED BED AND THIN LAYER
The aim of this work was to study the drying of Spirulina platensis, evaluating the final product characteristics about its phycocyanin content and its protein solubility in water. Two drying techniques were used: the spouted bed and the thin layer. For drying in a spouted bed, the cone-cylindrical geometry was chosen, namely type conventional spouted bed (CSB) and jet-spouted bed, with a paste concentration of 5%. The thin-layer drying was performed at temperatures of 50 and 60C, with a load of material of 4 kg/m2 in the tray. The spouted bed dryer type CSB demonstrated good functionality, not presenting a collapse during the experiments. The solubility in aqueous mean was similar in all the drying techniques used, being the values found around 37%. The largest phycocyanin values were found in the thin-layer temperature of 50C and in the spouted bed type CSB; however, the thin layer was excluded so as not to reach the commercial moisture content. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS
Phycocyanin is the major phycobiliprotein in Spirulina. Phycocyanin has significant antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective and radical scavenging properties. It is used as colorant in food and cosmetics. It was also shown to have therapeutic value (immunomodulating activity and anticancer activity). The drying operation is commonly used to prolong the shelf life of microbial biomasses. Preservation of cyanobacteria is a difficult process, since the cells are small and, moreover, the cultures are usually diluted. Drying of liquids and pastes in spouted beds with inert bodies has been presented as an alternative to spray drying in an attempt to obtain high-quality powdered products at a low cost.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2008-02-01