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This may be a bit off topic, but does spirulina powder need to be refrigerated? I have so much (bought a whole pound), there's no way I'm gonna use it all any time soon!

Hugs from one vegan baker to another.
Tuesday, March 27 2012, 04:26 PM
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Accepted Answer

Tuesday, April 17 2012, 07:23 PM - #Permalink
2 votes
(Hi Anita! I'm posting this answer again because I had a huge website crash and the backup containing this post was corrupted so I had to resurrect it from the database and copy and paste it here. Long story.)

This is a great question Anita! As I researched this, all I found were references of spirulina supplement manufacturers recommending storing it in the refrigerator, but no reasons why. I used to buy it in bulk and was always instructed to store it in the refrigerator too. So why do they recommend storing it under refrigeration?

I looked at the fat content of spirulina and found that it only contains about 7% fat by weight which doesn’t seem like much. But it’s the makeup of many of these fats that are important. Fats are made up of strings of fatty acids which usually consist of chains of carbon atoms. Spirulina contains fatty acids such as gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), linoleic acid (LA), stearidonic acid (SDA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA). These fatty acids fall into either omega 3 or omega 6 fatty acid categories which are all polyunsaturated fats.

Polyunsaturated fats are extremely susceptible to rancidification which is caused by excess oxygen exposure breaking the fatty acids down. When these fatty acids are consumed, the body can produce free radicals which can increase premature aging and disease.

Refrigerating and storing in air tight containers is the best way to prolong the life of foods that contain polyunsaturated fats such as spirulina, flax oil, borage oil and hemp oil. Spirulina doesn’t have as much polyunsaturated fats as the other oils which is probably why it can often not be refrigerated if it’s being used quickly.

Hope this clears things up!
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