You had some questions, and now we have answers. Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions about Spirulina. If you find that a question you’re specifically curious about hasn’t been answered in this article, please feel free to reach out to customerservice@zhounutrition.com and find out more! Once you find the answer you’re looking for, we’ll do our best to help keep this Q&A up to date! 


Q: Does your spirulina contain iodine?
A: Our Spirulina does not contain iodine.

Q: How is your spirulina dried?
A: We use flash evaporation that dries the spirulina within several seconds. This quick process preserves heat-sensitive nutrients, pigments and enzymes without the use of preservatives or stabilizers. The final Spirulina powder has a high content of heat-sensitive phycocyanin, attesting to the drying quality.

Q: Why is my spirulina magnetic?
A: Our Spirulina undergoes extensive 3rd party testing to ensure that our heavy metal limits are well under all international food standards. We have partnered with the top Spirulina producer in the world, Earthrise, on this product. You can read more about their safety measures here: http://earthrise.com/spirulina/safe-spirulina/. The reason you are seeing an apparent magnetic reaction is because our Spirulina is a very fine and dry powder which causes it to have a static reaction.

Q: I've heard there is a link between BMAA in blue green algae and alzheimer's. What do you say to that?
A: Our spirulina does not contain BMAA. In fact, a study in 1999 by Health Canada found that spirulina is the only blue green algae that doesn't contain BMAA or other microcystins. Please read below on the extra measures that we take to ensure that our spirulina is pure and microcystin free.

 

We use controlled ponds (rather than natural lakes) and utilize proper drying processes to prevent BMAA/microcystins. Because of concern about toxic blue-algae grown in lakes, we developed a program to prevent toxic algae from growing in our Spirulina ponds. First, daily microscopic examinations of the living culture are conducted. Second, in cooperation with university researchers, our farm scientists have developed testing methods to detect nanogram levels of toxins. Very few laboratories in the world are capable of such analysis. 

Q: Does this product contain microcystins?
A: While a lot of Spirulina from overseas has tested positive for microcystins, our spirulina has never tested positive for microcystins. Every batch is independently tested to ensure that nothing toxic is present.

Because of concern about toxic blue-algae growing in lakes, our spirulina supplier has developed a program to assure these toxic algae are not present in Spirulina ponds. First, daily microscopic examinations of the living culture are conducted. Second, in cooperation with university researchers, farm scientists have developed immunoassay and enzyme inhibition bioassay methods to detect nanogram levels of toxins. Very few laboratories in the world are capable of such analysis.

Q: How do you take Spirulina Powder?
A: Most people prefer to use Spirulina powder in a smoothie to help mask the strong taste and aroma. Others will even use it in baked goods. There are also tons of great recipes online.

Q: Does it contain BMAA?
A: BMAA is sometimes present in wild blue green algae. However, our spirulina does not contain BMAA. In fact, a study in 1999 by Health Canada found that spirulina is the only blue green algae that doesn't contain BMAA or other microcystins. Please read below on the extra measures that we take to ensure that our spirulina is pure and microcystin free. 
We use controlled ponds (rather than natural lakes) and utilize proper drying processes to prevent BMAA/microcystins. Because of concern about toxic blue-algae grown in lakes, we developed a program to assure these toxic algae are not present in our Spirulina ponds. First, daily microscopic examinations of the living culture are conducted. Second, in cooperation with university researchers, our farm scientists have developed testing methods to detect nanogram levels of toxins. Very few laboratories in the world are capable of such analysis.

Q: How does it compare with Nutrex?
A: Since we are not affiliated with Nutrex, we can only speak with confidence about the superior quality of spirulina that our company offers. 
Zhou Nutrition's Spirulina Powder is sustainably grown in California, far away from cities, Non-GMO; never irradiated (exposed to radiation), never grown with pesticides or herbicides; manufactured according to strict GMP and FDA standards; and thoroughly tested for purity.

Q: Is blue green algae and spirulina the same? Does the source matter?
A: Spirulina is one type of blue green algae. The source absolutely matters which is why we take great pride in sourcing the highest quality Spirulina right here in the U.S. There is a lot of low quality Spirulina and other algae's on the market that are being sourced from overseas.

Q: What do you mix it with?
A: Spirulina can be used in a variety of ways. It can be used in smoothies, teas and baked goods just to name a few. 
Here is one of our favorite smoothie recipes: 
1.) Cup of milk (preferably almond, coconut, hemp, or raw milk) 
2.) 1 cup of fresh or frozen mixed berries 
3.) 1 fresh or frozen banana 
4.) 2 teaspoons of spirulina 
5.) A little honey, maple syrup, or stevia to sweeten (optional)

Q: Is it grown in open ponds?
A: Our ponds are located in a remote and sunny part of California, far from cities, highways and airports. Mineral rich Colorado river water is pumped through canals through filters into the growing ponds. The production system employs a closed-loop system where everything is recycled and there is no discharge to the environment.

Our Spirulina ponds have food-grade liners. Each is 5000 square meters, or over an acre, in size and larger than a football field. Clean, fresh water and nutrients are added daily to feed the algae, mixed by 50-foot paddlewheels in each pond.
Clean and pure sources of mineral nutrients are used. Premium quality minerals like nitrogen, potassium, iron and essential trace elements nourish a consistently high quality Spirulina.

During the growing season, April through October, ponds are harvested every day. In the peak summer sun, harvesting occurs 24 hours a day, to keep up with the explosive growth rate.

Q: I am concerned about the amount of Vitamin A in this product, specifically as it relates to Vitamin A toxicity. What can you tell me about this?
A: Vitamin A, also known as beta-carotene, is a naturally occurring vitamin in spirulina. We don't add any additional ingredients to our spirulina powder so all of the vitamins are naturally occurring in the spirulina that we grow. Vitamin A levels will vary among producers because growing conditions vary greatly among producers. 

In terms of Vitamin A toxicity, there is only a risk of toxicity with animal based Vitamin A (retinol). Our Vitamin A is plant based (beta-carotene) and there is no upper limit for daily plant based Vitamin A consumption. 

The upper limit for animal based vitamin A is 10,000 IU. Consult with a physician if you are concerned about the vitamin A you are consuming.

Q: What’s Spirulina’s serving size?
A: Serving size: 1 scoop. Servings per container: 48.

Q: On the Spirulina, Directions: One scoop or 3.5g. Is that roughly a tablespoon or a teaspoon?
A: Our Spirulina will include a scoop for easy measuring. One serving is equal to half of a tablespoon.

Q: Are you using fracking water?
A: Our Spirulina is not exposed to fracking water. We use closed-loop water and nutrient recycling during the production process to care for you and the environment. Spirulina is unique, safely thriving in high-alkaline waters where other organisms cannot survive. This helps ensure a high degree of purity, without contamination.

Q: Is it raw?
A: Yes, Spirulina is 100% raw.

Q: Have these been screened by a third party lab?
A: Yes, we test our Spirulina at a certified 3rd party analytical lab to ensure that our product meets label claims and doesn't contain any contaminants. 
Here's a breakdown of our processes to ensure that our Spirulina meets the highest quality standards: 
1.) We only source our Spirulina from the highest quality producer in the world. 
2.) Once we receive the raw materials at our facility, we test it to ensure purity and that there are no contaminants present. 
3.) We adhere to strict GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) during the production process. We are regularly audited by the FDA and other 3rd party organizations to hold us accountable to these standards. 
4.) Once the finished product is complete, we have a 3rd party lab test the product to ensure that the product has the exact ingredients and dosages that we claim on the label. This lab also tests for anything that shouldn't be in the product (heavy metals & microbiological contaminants). 

Q: Is it vegan?
A: Yes, our Non-GMO Spirulina is 100% vegan.

Q: Is this algae grown in an open lake? Does the blue green algae produce any toxins? Was this the only algae that popped up? 
A: Our Spirulina is tested by an independent lab to ensure purity. 

Hundreds of aquatic organisms can bloom in nutrient rich water in warm sunshine. Weeding out unwanted microscopic algae is a difficult task. Preventing weed algae from taking over is the key to growing a pure culture. We are able to accomplish this by using a specially designed pond system and balancing the pond ecology.

Because of concern about toxic blue-algae growing in lakes, we developed a program to assure these toxic algae are not present in Spirulina ponds. First, daily microscopic examinations of the living culture are conducted. Second, in cooperation with university researchers, farm scientists have developed methods to detect nanogram levels of toxins in our spirulina ponds. Very few laboratories in the world are capable of such analysis.

Q: I've bought your spirulina, but reading the nutrients listing, I see it is significantly lower in vitamin A than a competitor, and it does not mention protein or vitamin B12 at all. Please comment.
A: We don't list protein content because it is only 2 grams per serving. This is only 4% of daily value. It is currently on our Spirulina powder but not Spirulina Tablets. 
The nutritional content is going to vary among producers and also will depend on how good their analytical testing is.

Q: Does the bottle need to be refrigerated after opening it?
A: No. Store in a cool, dry place.

Q: What types of fertilizers are used?
A: The types of fertilizers used are nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, iron and trace minerals. Carbon dioxide and sodium carbonate are also used as a carbon source and to adjust pH.

Q: What color is the Spirulina Powder?
A: The powder is a rich, deep green color.

Q: Is Spirulina completely free of microcystins? If so, what lab technique do they use to verify that this is microcystin-free?
A: We use controlled ponds (rather than natural lakes) and utilize proper drying processes to prevent microcystins. 

Because of concern about toxic blue algae growing in lakes, we developed a program to prevent toxic algae from growing in our Spirulina ponds. First, daily microscopic examinations of the living culture are conducted. Second, in cooperation with university researchers, farm scientists have developed immunoassay and enzyme inhibition bioassay methods to detect nanogram levels of toxins. 

Q: What strain is used in Spirulina?
A: The strain is Arthrospira platensis.

Q: Is the cell wall cracked?
A: Since Spirulina does not have a thick cell wall the nutrients are readily absorbable. Cracking the cell wall is important for other types of algae such as chlorella. 

Q: Is Spirulina allergen free?
A: Spirulina is screened for Pesticides, Herbicides, Soy, Milk, Eggs, Fish, Shellfish, Tree Nuts, Peanuts, and Wheat.

Q: Why doesn’t the label have the Vitamin A and Vitamin K listed on the nutrition label?
A: We recently switched our vendors and no longer claim vitamin A and K levels. They are naturally occurring and each batch varies slightly. 

Q: Does Spirulina promote stem cell genesis?
A: We cannot make any claims that the ingredient promotes stem cell genesis. Sprirulina has been studied for its many health benefits. It is best to discuss its benefits with your primary physician or health care practitioner.

Q: I started taking spirulina and noticed my belly is better but wanted to learn more about the reason to take spirulina as a supplement. Why is it effective as opposed to probiotics?
A: Spirulina is a plant bacteria and acts in a similar way as probiotics, helping to increase the amount of healthy bacteria. Spirulina also has antioxidants and a lot of nutrients, making it easy to digest and promoting healthy gut repair.



Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.