The CovidX project investigated whether a food supplement based on a novel Spirulina-extract has the ability to strengthen the immune system and help reduce infection risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
As part of the EIT’s Crisis Response Initiative, this activity directly contributes to the European Union’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aqueous Spirulina extract is already approved for use in food in the US and EU with no toxicity limitations or known allergens. It has unique advantages, including biosecurity, consistent quality and taste, is odour-free and is high in bioactive compounds. The aim of project was to assess the ability of a food supplement to help strengthen the immune system of high-risk population groups such as the elderly and people with severe underlying medical conditions, as well as high-exposure groups e.g. medical personnel. This supplement is not intended as a replacement for SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations.
CovidX has advanced the scientific knowledge about the therapeutic, anti-inflammatory, potential of Spirulina when grown under different conditions. These findings were published in a peer reviewed article, which included the potential of using this knowledge to prevent severe COVID-19 symptoms. The project helped the consortium to gain scientific knowledge on Spirulina and on the different potential usage of Spirulina extracts in nutraceuticals and in food.
As a result of this, VAXA Technology launched a new product UltraSpirulina Icecubesat - Spirulina-extract-based frozen cubes - in October 2021. This is the first Spirulina extract with a consistent year-round nutritional value and can be used as an ingredient for making shakes and smoothies.