It is often impossible in practice to process micro-algae immediately after their cultivation and harvest. This study, therefore, aimed to identify appropriate storage conditions for the wet preservation of Porphyridium purpureum
. Algae were stored either as a concentrate or as a dilute culture at 4 °C, 8 °C, or 20 °C for 14 days and their quality was monitored. Concentrate storage tended to result in higher microbial numbers than dilute culture storage and clearly led to higher concentrations of malodorous organic acids. Butyric and isovaleric acid concentrations were about two orders of magnitude larger than their odor threshold values after 14 days of concentrate storage at 20 °C. Average B-phycoeryhrin (B-PE) levels were slightly higher after concentrate storage (2.5 ± 0.2 g B-PE/100 g organic matter) than after dilute culture storage (2.2 ± 0.5 g B-PE/100 g organic matter), probably due to respiration losses of other organic compounds in the first case. Significant amounts of organic matter got lost during concentrate storage (4–35%) as a result of carbohydrate degradation. The main restriction of concentrate storage was the rapid viscosity increase and formation of a weak gel structure complicating the later processing of the concentrates. These findings are highly relevant for P. purpureum
cultivators and processors who have to store Porphyridium
suspensions, even on a term of one day or less.
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