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Microalgae as Sources of Carotenoids
CIMAR/CIIMAR—Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação Marinha e Ambiental, Universidade do Porto, Rua dos Bragas 177, P-4050-123 Porto, Portugal
ISMAI—Instituto Superior da Maia, Avenida Carlos Oliveira Campos, P-4475-690 Avioso S. Pedro, Portugal
Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Avenida da República, P-2780-157 Oeiras, Portugal
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 March 2011; Accepted: 14 April 2011 / Published: 20 April 2011
Abstract: Marine microalgae constitute a natural source of a variety of drugs for pharmaceutical, food and cosmetic applications—which encompass carotenoids, among others. A growing body of experimental evidence has confirmed that these compounds can play important roles in prevention (and even treatment) of human diseases and health conditions, e.g., cancer, cardiovascular problems, atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, muscular dystrophy, cataracts and some neurological disorders. The underlying features that may account for such favorable biological activities are their intrinsic antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antitumoral features. In this invited review, the most important issues regarding synthesis of carotenoids by microalgae are described and discussed—from both physiological and processing points of view. Current gaps of knowledge, as well as technological opportunities in the near future relating to this growing field of interest, are also put forward in a critical manner.
Keywords: lutein; astaxanthin; β-carotene; bioproduction; extraction
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Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
Guedes, A.C.; Amaro, H.M.; Malcata, F.X. Microalgae as Sources of Carotenoids. Mar. Drugs 2011, 9, 625-644.
Guedes AC, Amaro HM, Malcata FX. Microalgae as Sources of Carotenoids. Marine Drugs. 2011; 9(4):625-644.
Guedes, Ana Catarina; Amaro, Helena M.; Malcata, Francisco Xavier. 2011. "Microalgae as Sources of Carotenoids." Mar. Drugs 9, no. 4: 625-644.