DOST-supported R&D project produces up to 600 grams of spirulina

Published April 22, 2021, 11:46 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) announced that its funded project under Local Grants-in-Aid (LGIA) Program for the production of spirulina biomass has “successfully” produced 500 to 600 grams of spirulina  and scaled-up volume of spirulina culture up to one ton.


DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña reported that the research and development (R&D) project for spirulina biomass production, which was funded by DOST-Region 10, has  yielded “good results.”

“In March 2021, the project was able to successfully produce 500 to 600 grams of spirulina out of a 1-ton solution,” he said in a report. 

He said to date, other notable accomplishments of the “Production of Spirulina Biomass: Refinement of Grow-out Production Technology and Piloting in Northern Mindanao” project include the following: 

-Development of two low-cost, easily-available culture media for spirulina cultivation utilizing commercial fertilizers, which resulted to higher dry biomass yields that are at par with what have been reported in literatures;

-Refined culture conditions of spirulina for high dry biomass yield;

-Determined the most viable pre-harvesting technique for spirulina mass harvesting; and, 

-Scaled-up volume of spirulina culture up to 1-ton and reliable and predictable harvesting of spirulina biomass.

Aside from DOST-10, those who implemented the project are the Mindanao State University – Naawan Campus (MSUN), and the Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, Inc. through the “Optimizing Regional Opportunities thru Business Excellence thru Science, Technology (OROBEST) Innovation Program” with the industry partner, Green Pastures Corporation in Cagayan de Oro City.

“This project was identified as an R&D priority for Region 10 to address the industry gap of sourcing spirulina, a blue-green alga popular for its various health benefits. To meet the demand for spirulina, the region sources out algae from Luzon and other areas in the country,” de la Peña said. 

He recalled that in 2020, the DOST provided P2.98-million funding for the project.  

He said the project was implemented aimed at refining small scale production technology of spirulina production through assessment of different physio-chemical parameters for the optimum biomass production and nutritive value; establishing grow out farm of spirulina for Green Pastures Corporation; and providing technology for small-scale production of spirulina biomass for the industry partner and other interested parties.

The DOST chief bared that MSU-Naawan “is now preparing the requirements for patent application set in May 2021.”

“They are also preparing for the turnover of the technology to their cooperator/firm in June 2021.”

He said the project benefits the main industry partner – the Green Pastures Corporation based in Cagayan de Oro City, as the technology adoptor, the local government units (LGUs) and the peoples’ and fisherfolk organizations in the area. 

He noted that the Green Pastures Corporation has committed to allocate a space to house the technology/equipment for the project and to provide funds for its maintenance and safe-keeping.