EnhanceMicroAlgae partners at La Rochelle University (La Rochelle University/CNRS UMR 7266 LIENSs) are developing innovative processes to extract and purify microalgae pigments and develop original applications of microalgae pigments for human health.
Their latest work, published in collaboration with IFREMER Nantes and the Génie des Procédés Environnement (GEPEA) lab at Nantes University, gives a comprehensive review on the use and potential of fucoxanthin, an epoxycarotenoid abundant in brown microalgae.
Fucoxanthin is a brown-coloured pigment with great potential as a bioactive molecule due to its numerous properties. This review aims to present current knowledge on this high added-value pigment. An accurate analysis of the biological function of fucoxanthin explains its wide photon absorption capacities in golden-brown algae. The specific chemical structure of this pigment also leads to many functional activities in human health. They are outlined in this work and are supported by the latest studies in the literature. The scientific and industrial interest in fucoxanthin is correlated with great improvements in the development of algae cultures and downstream processes. The best fucoxanthin producing algae and their associated culture parameters are described. The light intensity is a major influencing factor, as it has to enable both a high biomass growth and a high fucoxanthin content. This review also insists on the most eco-friendly and innovative extraction methods and their perspective within the next years. The use of bio-based solvents, aqueous two-phase systems and centrifugal partition chromatography are the most promising processes. The analysis of the global market and multiple applications of fucoxanthin revealed that Asian companies are major actors in the market with macroalgae. In addition, fucoxanthin from microalgae are currently produced in Israel and France, and are mostly authorized in the USA.
Read more about this work published in Marine Drugs here: https://www.mdpi.com/1660-3397/20/4/222/htm
Pajot, A.; Hao Huynh, G.; Picot, L.; Marchal, L.; Nicolau, E. Fucoxanthin from Algae to Human, an Extraordinary Bioresource: Insights and Advances in up and Downstream Processes. Mar. Drugs 2022, 20, 222. https://doi.org/10.3390/md20040222