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Mar. Drugs 2013, 11(10), 3754-3776; doi:10.3390/md11103754
Article

The Red Seaweed Gracilaria gracilis as a Multi Products Source

1,2,* , 2
, 1
 and 3
1 STAR-Agroenergy Research Group, University of Foggia, via Gramsci 89/91, Foggia 71121, Italy 2 Institute of Marine Science, National Research Council, via Pola 4, Lesina 71010, Italy 3 Institute for Coastal Marine Environment, National Research Council, via Roma 3, Taranto 74121, Italy
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 June 2013 / Revised: 29 August 2013 / Accepted: 3 September 2013 / Published: 30 September 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances and New Perspectives in Marine Biotechnology)
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Abstract

In recent years seaweeds have increasingly attracted interest in the search for new drugs and have been shown to be a primary source of bioactive natural compounds and biomaterials. In the present investigation, the biochemical composition of the red seaweed Gracilaria gracilis, collected seasonally in the Lesina Lagoon (Southern Adriatic Sea, Lesina, Italy), was assayed by means of advanced analytical techniques, such as gas-chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry and spectrophotometric tests. In particular, analysis of lipids, fatty acids, sterols, proteins, phycobiliproteins and carbohydrates as well as phenolic content, antioxidant and radical scavenging activity were performed. In winter extracts of G. gracilis, a high content of R-phycoerythrin together with other valuable products such as arachidonic acid (PUFA ω-6), proteins and carbohydrates was observed. High antioxidant and radical scavenging activities were also detected in summer extracts of the seaweed together with a high content of total phenols. In conclusion, this study points out the possibility of using Gracilaria gracilis as a multi products source for biotechnological, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical applications even although more investigations are required for separating, purifying and characterizing these bioactive compounds.
Keywords: seaweed; biochemical composition; biorefinery; Gracilaria; Lesina Lagoon seaweed; biochemical composition; biorefinery; Gracilaria; Lesina Lagoon
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Francavilla, M.; Franchi, M.; Monteleone, M.; Caroppo, C. The Red Seaweed Gracilaria gracilis as a Multi Products Source. Mar. Drugs 2013, 11, 3754-3776.

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