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Open AccessArticle

Gloeothece sp. as a Nutraceutical Source—An Improved Method of Extraction of Carotenoids and Fatty Acids

Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research (CIIMAR), University of Porto, Terminal de Cruzeiros do Porto de Leixões, Avenida General Norton de Matos, S/N, P-4450-208 Matosinhos, Portugal
Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar (ICBAS), University of Porto, Rua Jorge Viterbo Ferreira no. 228, P-4050-313 Porto, Portugal
FCUP—Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre s/n, 4169-007 Porto, Portugal
LEPABE—Laboratory of Process Engineering, Environment, Biotechnology and Energy, Rua Dr. Roberto Frias s/n, P-4200-465 Porto, Portugal
Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Porto, Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, s/n 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Mar. Drugs 2018, 16(9), 327;
Received: 14 August 2018 / Revised: 6 September 2018 / Accepted: 8 September 2018 / Published: 11 September 2018
The nutraceutical potential of microalgae boomed with the exploitation of new species and sustainable extraction systems of bioactive compounds. Thus, a laboratory-made continuous pressurized solvent extraction system (CPSE) was built to optimize the extraction of antioxidant compounds, such as carotenoids and PUFA, from a scarcely studied prokaryotic microalga, Gloeothece sp. Following “green chemical principles” and using a GRAS solvent (ethanol), biomass amount, solvent flow-rate/pressure, temperature and solvent volume—including solvent recirculation—were sequentially optimized, with the carotenoids and PUFA content and antioxidant capacity being the objective functions. Gloeothece sp. bioactive compounds were best extracted at 60 °C and 180 bar. Recirculation of solvent in several cycles (C) led to an 11-fold extraction increase of β-carotene (3C) and 7.4-fold extraction of C18:2 n6 t (5C) when compared to operation in open systems. To fully validate results CPSE, this system was compared to a conventional extraction method, ultrasound assisted extraction (UAE). CPSE proved superior in extraction yield, increasing total carotenoids extraction up 3-fold and total PUFA extraction by ca. 1.5-fold, with particular extraction increase of 18:3 n3 by 9.6-fold. Thus, CPSE proved to be an efficient and greener extraction method to obtain bioactive extract from Gloeothece sp. for nutraceutical purposes—with low levels of resources spent, while lowering costs of production and environmental impacts. View Full-Text
Keywords: CPSE; pressurized liquid extraction; PUFA; antioxidant; cyanobacteria; microalga CPSE; pressurized liquid extraction; PUFA; antioxidant; cyanobacteria; microalga
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Amaro, H.M.; Guedes, A.C.; Preto, M.A.C.; Sousa-Pinto, I.; Malcata, F.X. Gloeothece sp. as a Nutraceutical Source—An Improved Method of Extraction of Carotenoids and Fatty Acids. Mar. Drugs 2018, 16, 327.

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