Spirulina culture trial for better resilience to COVID-19 in Toamasina

REVUT Scientific Journal (RSJ) ISSN online : 2708-5562 Volume 2, August 2020 DOI : https://doi.org/10.468 57/rsj.2020.2 Journal édité par: CRSCP-Université de Toamasina, Madagascar Sous la direction de : Andriamparany RAKOTOMAVO (Eds)

A first experimental study on the production of spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) has been carried out at the Multifunctional Laboratory of the ISSEDDUniversity of Toamasina. Its purpose is to verify the feasibility of such a crop in an area where climatic parameters could be a limiting factor in the production of spirulina. With the aim of monitoring the growth of this alga under laboratory conditions in muros and in a controlled greenhouse extra muros, this manuscript starts from the hypothesis that it would be possible to practice spirulina cultivation in Toamasina. Cultivation was carried out successively from a 1.5-liter inoculum, then in 30-liter containers, before transfer to a large 3 m3 extra muros greenhouse container. Periodic checks of the temperature, turbidity and salinity of the culture medium, as well as regular monitoring of the growth and productivity of the algae were carried out over a period of 180 days (d). The algae are growing at an average rate of 2.073 g. m-2.d-1, or the equivalent of 5.01 mg.l-1.d-1. A harvest of 4.31 g.m-2.d-1, with a specific growth rate of 0.0028 h-1 and a generation time of 251.73 h were recorded during the experiment. Compared with the values obtained in Tulear, one of the spirulina-producing areas in southwestern Madagascar, these values turn out to be low but promising, given the climatic conditions of Toamasina where the sky is often overcast, with less brightness, more humid air and a rainy climate. For better growth and sustained productivity, controlling climatic parameters, coupled with the recovery of local materials are recommended in the case of extra mural cultivation. This trial constitutes an interesting avenue in the fight against COVID-19 insofar as spirulina is known for its immune-stimulatory and antiviral actions. Improving the nutritional quality of a predominantly vulnerable population of Toamasina via this alga will thus contribute to increasing its social resilience in the face of this pandemic. Keywords: Spirulina culture; Toamasina, COVID-19; Resilience; Technical feasibility

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