George Goshev, Margarita Stanilova, Nikola Hristov, Martin Simeonov, Christo Tzachev
Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy, University of Sofia ‘‘St. Kliment Ohridski”
Sodium alginate is natural polysaccharide extracted from cell walls of brown algae. Its copolymer anionic structure built up of (1-4)-linked β-D-mannuronate (M) and α-L-guluronate (G) residues allows easy binding with metal cations such as calcium (Ca2+) leading to formation of calcium alginate hydrogels (i.e. ionotropic gelation). When sodium alginate is added dropwise to calcium ions containing hardening bath it forms microgel spheres (beads). A number of bioactive compounds can be entrapped into calcium alginate beads including low molecular drugs, enzymes and cells. Spirulina is the common name of Arthtrospira platensis cyanobacteria. In world scale its widely used as food since the antiquity to the modern days when the focus on feeding is targeted at dietary, and animal-friendly source of food. Spirulina is enriched in number of essential nutrients particularly protein, B vitamins (thiamin and riboflavin) and dietary minerals, such as iron and manganese). Spirulina is known to have very strong odor found to be unpleasant in most of the patients taking Spirulina as dietary supplement. The aim of the present study is to developed a novel vegan friendly form of dietary supplement consisted of calcium alginate beads with entrapped spirulina cells into their structure. Calcium alginate beads was obtained by appliying the process of ionotropic gelation of sodium alginate with simultaneous entrapment of Spirulina. Thus created beads was characterized in the terms of their size, size distribution and morphology by light microscopy. Organoleptic test was performed to check the odor of the novel form.