When we first started, culinary spirulina was barely a thing. The core message was that spirulina was good for the health and nobody really cared about anything else than its benefits. We were different. We were passionate about spirulina and believed that spirulina was first and foremost a food. We were fascinated with the natural good taste of fresh spirulina and worked hard to find a way to share that good taste we get at the farm.

We process fresh spirulina a bit like artisanal pasta

When harvested fresh spirulina looks like a green smoothie. We then press it to remove the free water and get something quite similar to (green) cream cheese. We then either spread that paste in sheets (to get petals) or extrude them into spaghettis (to get nibs). Seems simple but you then need to dry that spirulina.

Extruding fresh spirulina into nibs to prepare our raw spirulina at our French farm. Photo by Charly Margain (© Gourmet Spirulina, 2015)

We dried fresh spirulina with every single technology we could put our hands on, and tried dozens of combinations. The hard work paid off and we managed to get some delicious new formats of raw spirulina. It’s a slow and painstaking process, but we managed to keep the spirulina at much less than 42°C and were probably the first ones to really achieve pure raw spirulina.

You may recognize some strong similarities with the manufacturing of pasta. The crucial difference is that pasta dough holds together really well whereas fresh spirulina does not. You won’t be able to get pure raw spirulina canelloni anytime soon!

Did you notice how genuine raw spirulina never comes as a powder?

Interesting factoid: probably the only way you can dry something microscopic and get a powder is if each cell is dried virtually instantly. This is the dominant process used in drying spirulina: it’s called spray-drying and uses temperatures any raw foodist would qualify as very high heat (typically >100°C) though welders and plumbers would disagree and seem to have some clout in the health food industry 🙂

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