Chlorella is a genus of single-cell green algae, belonging to the phylum Chlorophyta. It is spherical in shape, about 2 to 10 μm in diameter, and is without flagella. Chlorella contains the green photosynthetic pigments chlorophyll-a and -b in its chloroplast. Through photosynthesis, it multiplies rapidly, requiring only carbon dioxide, water, sunlight, and a small amount of minerals to reproduce.
It is an attractive potential food source because it is high in protein and other essential nutrients; when dried, it is about 45% protein, 20% fat, 20% carbohydrate, 5% fibre, and 10% minerals and vitamins. Mass-production methods are now being used to cultivate it in large artificial circular ponds. It is also abundant in calories, fat, and vitamins.
Chlorella is consumed as a health supplement primarily in the United States and Canada and as a food supplement in Japan.Chlorella has a number of purported health effects, including an ability to treat cancer.