Algae are among the oldest life forms in the world. The term "algae" refers to the various eukaryotic organisms which thrive in water and naturally carry out photosynthesis. Algae can be found almost anywhere in the world, in both fresh and salt water. They are an integral part of the cuisine of many cultures due to their compelling taste and valuable properties. Other well-known varieties include nori, spirulina and ecklonia.
A type of freshwater microalgae, chlorella is one of the oldest life forms on earth. The unicellular eucaryote, only 5–10μm in size, has a spherical shape and an exceptionally high chlorophyll content. Its particularly strong cell walls contain hemicellulose, which offers the cell stability. Chlorella has an extraordinarily fast reproduction rate, with every cell division taking only 16–20 hours. The chlorella growth factor (CGF) contained in the cell nucleus accounts for this high rate. CGF is a unique complex first isolated in the 1950s by Dr. Fujimaki, consisting of nucleic acids, nutrients, amino acids, peptides and polysaccharides. Chlorella's unique nutrient profile, its high protein content and its valuable secondary phytochemicals make it an interesting superfood.