Algae cake is a source of nutrients for humans and animals, because the cake of many algal species has high protein content, sometimes as high as 50 to 60% of dry matter. Except for sulphur-containing amino acids (methionine and cystine), the essential amino acid content in many algal species is favourable for the nutrition of farm animals. Algae are also a rich source of carotene, vitamin C and K, and B-vitamins.
Overall, the algal biomass comprises three main components – Carbohydrates, Proteins and Lipids. Once the lipids have been extracted the left-over cake is primarily composed of carbohydrates and proteins. Depending on the growth medium and the nutrients, algae meal could contain some substances such as lead, arsenic, mercury, and heavy metals.
The exact composition of the algae meal depends on the algae species as well as the growth conditions. In addition, it also depends on the amount of oil that has been extracted.
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