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Keywords:

  • Drying;
  • fatty acids;
  • microalgae;
  • phycocyanin;
  • spirulina platensis;
  • thiobarbituric acid

Summary

The aim of the study was the optimisation of Spirulina platensis drying on convective hot air through the response surface methodology. The responses were thiobarbituric acid (TBA) and phycocyanin loss percentage values in final product. Experiments were carried out in perforated tray drier with parallel air flow, and the wet samples thickness and drying air temperatures were in range of 3–7 mm and 50–70 °C, respectively. The statistical analysis showed significant effect (P < 0.05) for air temperature and samples thickness. In the best drying condition, 55 °C and 3.7 mm, presented the phycocyanin loss percentage and the TBA values of approximately 37% and 1.5 mgMDA kg−1, respectively. In this drying condition, the fatty acids composition of the microalgae Spirulina did not show significance difference (> 0.05) in relation to fresh biomass. The lipid profile of dried product presented high percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids (34.4%), especially the gamma-linolenic acid (20.6%).