Health promoting functional lipids from microalgae pool: A review

Authors: Richa Katiyar, Amit Arora


Current market trend and consumer’s growing demand for healthy natural products have strengthened microalgae as an emerging source of nutrient rich natural food supplement. The constituents of food play a critical role in evolution of non-communicable disease and malnutrition. In this regard, microalgae based food products own positive health impacts and combating effects on non-communicable disease and malnutrition. These products appear as favourable sources of vitamins, minerals, proteins, functional lipids/poly unsaturated fatty acids and carotenoids etc. Present study highlights microalgae based poly unsaturated fatty acids such as omega-3 i.e. alpha-linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, and docosahexaenoic acid and omega-6 and its biosynthesis, production, applications in public health and economic analysis associated with its production. Poly unsaturated fatty acids are considered as one of the promising sources of human’s diet and their optimal proportion (omega-3 to omega-6; 1:1 to 1:4) is essential for prevention of non-communicable disease and other chronic diseases. Microalgae based poly unsaturated fatty acids functions as an alternative to fish oil and possess number of benefits in terms of taste, no/reduced toxins accumulation and veganism nature over animal based oils. Moreover, microalgae produce higher amount of omega-3 in contrast to animal based oils, for instance; Isochrysis galbana and Phaeodactylum tricornutum produce closely ≥2 folds higher eicosapentaenoic acid and Crytthecodinium cohnii produce nearly ≥6 folds higher docosahexaenoic acid than cod liver oil. In contrast, terrestrial plant-based poly unsaturated fatty acids lack eicosapentaenoic acid/docosahexaenoic acid. Thus, microalgae based poly unsaturated fatty acids represent compatible market for production of food and feeds products over fish and plant based poly unsaturated fatty acids. Current review provides critical examination of the literature investigating application of microalgae based functional lipids as dietary and nutraceutical supplement to improve public health. In addition, process economics and challenges have also been discussed in this paper.

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Katiyar, R., & Arora, A. (2020, March). Health promoting functional lipids from microalgae pool: A review. Algal Research, 46, 101800.

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