Microalgae are considered as excellent candidates for bioactive compounds, yet microalgal residues remaining after the extraction of one or two compounds are usually discarded, which is not economical. This study demonstrates the alkaline extraction of proteins from Chlorella pyrenoidosa
residue after lipid and pigment extractions, and their functional properties. Single-factor experiments and response surface methodology were used to obtain the optimal conditions for protein extraction. Based on our results, a maximum protein yield of 722.70 mg/g, was obtained under the following extraction conditions: sodium hydroxide concentration 7.90%, extraction temperature 70.00 °C, extraction time 34.80 min, and microalgal residue concentration 8.20 mg/mL. The molecular weight of microalgal residue protein isolate (MRPI) was mainly distributed at the regions of 0.18–0.50 kDa, 0.50–1.50 kDa, and 1.50–5.00 kDa. The essential amino acid content was greater than the values recommended by FAO/WHO standards; a high essential amino acid index value (1.49) was another good indication that MRPI is suitable for human consumption. Moreover, MRPI exhibited excellent emulsifying properties and antioxidant activity, which suggests it may be useful as an emulsifying agent and antioxidant. These findings could improve the extraction methods of functional protein from microalgal residue and add value to microalgae-based bioactive compound production processes.
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