Aphanizomenon flos-aquae is emerging as a unique dietary supplement with scientifically demonstrated health-promoting effects. It grows naturally and is harvested from a natural environment. Strict adherence to highest quality practices is essential for the production of a superior quality product that preserves all the properties of fresh Aphanizomenon flos-aquae.
Production of the highest quality product is the core value that determines all of Ancient Sun Nutrition's manufacturing processes and practices. Additionally, Ancient Sun strives to offer the most informative scientifically-based marketing support material and overall services to its customers, competitively-priced.
Ancient Sun's harvester has developed one of the most comprehensive and stringent Quality Assurance / Quality Control (QA/QC)programs in the dietary supplement industry. Their QA/QC program ensures that algae is harvested only in optimal conditions (speciation, biomass), that the integrity and quality of the harvested algae is preserved (speciation, temperature), that specific criteria are met in order to optimize production and the quality of the end product (solid content), and that the finished blue-green algae powder meets all the criteria for optimum quality as a food product (microbiology, chlorophyll content, pesticides, heavy metals, microcystin).
Speciation is a test performed under a microscope that determines the species of algae growing at any one time and location in the Klamath Lake. Speciation analysis is performed every day on samples of lake water before harvesting to determine that the harvested bloom is 99% Aphanizomenon flos-aquae. The speciation is performed at multiple sites providing information to monitor growth and movement of algae blooms in Klamath Lake. The speciation analysis is repeated on harvested algae, in the harvester's holding tank to confirm that the harvested algae is a virtual monoculture (99% AFA).
Biomass refers to the quantity of algae per volume of water. Greatest benefits are obtained from blue-green algae when the algal bloom is in full growth. Therefore, to ensure quality and highest bioactivity, algae is harvested only when the biomass exceeds a specific threshold.
Solid content refers to the quantity of solid algae particles per volume of liquid algae. In order to optimize the drying process and reduce the effect water removal during drying, the algae is further dewatered prior to drying. process. To ensure optimal processing and highest quality, solid content of the harvested algae closely is monitored.
Microbiology Various sanitary and health standards have been established in the food industry. Our harvester's QA/QC program utilizes Organic methods to reduce bacterial load and provide a final product that exceeds all criteria of quality. The table below summarizes the various tests performed, along with the food industry and our harvesters acceptable limits.
Chlorophyll Content Chlorophyll is one of the first nutrients to degrade when the harvested algae is not rapidly chilled and handled with care. The amount of intact chlorophyll is monitored in the validation of every steps of the harvesting process and quantified in the final product.
Pesticides The waters of Klamath Lake have been tested numerous times by local governmental agencies and since 1990 were always found free of pesticides and other chemical contaminants. Harvested algae has always been found free of pesticides. Nonetheless, to ensure the highest quality, a full pesticide profile is regularly performed on harvested algae.
Heavy Metals Quality Control procedures for wildcrafted foods require monitoring for the presence of heavy metals. As part of our harvester?s comprehensive QA/QC Program, each lot is tested for the presence of heavy metals.