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Mar. Drugs 2018, 16(6), 203; https://doi.org/10.3390/md16060203

Exploring the Valuable Carotenoids for the Large-Scale Production by Marine Microorganisms

1
Department of Agrochemistry and Biochemistry, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology division, Faculty of Science, University of Alicante, Ap. 99, E-03080 Alicante, Spain
2
Algal Biotechnology Group, University of Huelva, CIDERTA and Faculty of Science, Marine International Campus of Excellence (CEIMAR), Parque Huelva Empresarial S/N, 21007 Huelva, Spain
3
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Atacama, Copayapu 2862, CP 1530000 Copiapó, Chile
These authors have contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 April 2018 / Revised: 28 May 2018 / Accepted: 5 June 2018 / Published: 8 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Collection Marine Carotenoids)
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Abstract

Carotenoids are among the most abundant natural pigments available in nature. These pigments have received considerable attention because of their biotechnological applications and, more importantly, due to their potential beneficial uses in human healthcare, food processing, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. These bioactive compounds are in high demand throughout the world; Europe and the USA are the markets where the demand for carotenoids is the highest. The in vitro synthesis of carotenoids has sustained their large-scale production so far. However, the emerging modern standards for a healthy lifestyle and environment-friendly practices have given rise to a search for natural biocompounds as alternatives to synthetic ones. Therefore, nowadays, biomass (vegetables, fruits, yeast and microorganisms) is being used to obtain naturally-available carotenoids with high antioxidant capacity and strong color, on a large scale. This is an alternative to the in vitro synthesis of carotenoids, which is expensive and generates a large number of residues, and the compounds synthesized are sometimes not active biologically. In this context, marine biomass has recently emerged as a natural source for both common and uncommon valuable carotenoids. Besides, the cultivation of marine microorganisms, as well as the downstream processes, which are used to isolate the carotenoids from these microorganisms, offer several advantages over the other approaches that have been explored previously. This review summarizes the general properties of the most-abundant carotenoids produced by marine microorganisms, focusing on the genuine/rare carotenoids that exhibit interesting features useful for potential applications in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and medicine. View Full-Text
Keywords: carotenoids; antioxidants; bioactive compounds; blue biotechnology; marine microorganisms carotenoids; antioxidants; bioactive compounds; blue biotechnology; marine microorganisms
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. (CC BY 4.0).
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Torregrosa-Crespo, J.; Montero, Z.; Fuentes, J.L.; Reig García-Galbis, M.; Garbayo, I.; Vílchez, C.; Martínez-Espinosa, R.M. Exploring the Valuable Carotenoids for the Large-Scale Production by Marine Microorganisms. Mar. Drugs 2018, 16, 203.

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