Maximum absorption of nutrients is great, but no consumer wants to digest toxins that may be found in environments surrounding green-food ingredients. Many consumers are concerned with heavy metal contamination. Stefano Scoglio, Ph.D., N.D., said, “It is well known that aquatic products, from fish to algae, have a natural content of organic arsenic significantly higher than that of other animal and plant species,” in an unpublished paper, “On the Issue of Arsenic in Microalgae.” He added algae, in particular, are a primary accumulator of arsenic in the marine environment. He noted it is generally accepted by the scientific community that only inorganic arsenic is toxic.
But, as Moerck said, “Consumer Reports recently did a study of a wide range of greed foods looking at contamination of heavy metals, with some of the products showing levels that are considered unacceptable.”
Product manufacturers can look to certification and processing techniques to determine which ingredients are less likely to contain contaminants, Moerck continued. “Organic certification and adherence to standards such as USP verification program are also increasingly important issues.” Quality control for Parry Organic Spirulina includes HACCP (Food Safety Standards), ISO 14001 (Environmental Management Systems) and ISO 9001 (Quality Management Systems) certified by Bureau VERITAS, he said.