Tel Aviv high school science project could bring ‘superfood’ to Africa

Published on Monday, 11 March 2013 by Webmaster

Tel Aviv high school science project could bring ‘superfood’ to Africa
Efforts by a group of pupils at a Tel Aviv secondary school to grow algae in plastic bottles to help fight malnutrition has attracted the attention of UNESCO, Rotary International, international education organizations and dozens of African schools.

The pupils at the Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium are trying to perfect a way to grow Spirulina, an algae that’s been dubbed the “superfood” because it contains 70% protein, more than any other natural food. It has all the amino acids humans require and a high level of many vitamins.

The aim is to find an inexpensive, simple, effective way to grow the algae that could then be replicated in schools in poor nations and help feed millions of children around the world.

“They won’t feel full,” explains Maya Levi, one of the teens working on the project. “But they won’t be malnourished, either.”

Soon they will take the project to the next level by getting 10 schools, five Jewish and five Arab, to also begin growing the Spirulina.

Once a week, Boris Zlotnikov, who has a Spirulina farm in the Negev, comes by in his capacity as technical adviser to the project. Dr. Yaron Yehoshua, founder of the Algae Biotechnology Center at Bar-Ilan University, accompanies the research on a volunteer basis.

Yehoshua notes that an important benefit of the Spirulina is that it's easy to produce.

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