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      Microalgae for High-Value Products Towards Human Health and Nutrition

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          Abstract

          Microalgae represent a potential source of renewable nutrition and there is growing interest in algae-based dietary supplements in the form of whole biomass, e.g., Chlorella and Arthrospira, or purified extracts containing omega-3 fatty acids and carotenoids. The commercial production of bioactive compounds from microalgae is currently challenged by the biorefinery process. This review focuses on the biochemical composition of microalgae, the complexities of mass cultivation, as well as potential therapeutic applications. The advantages of open and closed growth systems are discussed, including common problems encountered with large-scale growth systems. Several methods are used for the purification and isolation of bioactive compounds, and many products from microalgae have shown potential as antioxidants and treatments for hypertension, among other health conditions. However, there are many unknown algal metabolites and potential impurities that could cause harm, so more research is needed to characterize strains of interest, improve overall operation, and generate safe, functional products.

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          Most cited references205

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          Flavonoids as antioxidants.

          Flavonoids are phenolic substances isolated from a wide range of vascular plants, with over 8000 individual compounds known. They act in plants as antioxidants, antimicrobials, photoreceptors, visual attractors, feeding repellants, and for light screening. Many studies have suggested that flavonoids exhibit biological activities, including antiallergenic, antiviral, antiinflammatory, and vasodilating actions. However, most interest has been devoted to the antioxidant activity of flavonoids, which is due to their ability to reduce free radical formation and to scavenge free radicals. The capacity of flavonoids to act as antioxidants in vitro has been the subject of several studies in the past years, and important structure-activity relationships of the antioxidant activity have been established. The antioxidant efficacy of flavonoids in vivo is less documented, presumably because of the limited knowledge on their uptake in humans. Most ingested flavonoids are extensively degraded to various phenolic acids, some of which still possess a radical-scavenging ability. Both the absorbed flavonoids and their metabolites may display an in vivo antioxidant activity, which is evidenced experimentally by the increase of the plasma antioxidant status, the sparing effect on vitamin E of erythrocyte membranes and low-density lipoproteins, and the preservation of erythrocyte membrane polyunsaturated fatty acids. This review presents the current knowledge on structural aspects and in vitro antioxidant capacity of most common flavonoids as well as in vivo antioxidant activity and effects on endogenous antioxidants.
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            Polyphenols: chemistry, dietary sources, metabolism, and nutritional significance.

            Polyphenols constitute one of the most numerous and ubiquitous groups of plant metabolites and are an integral part of both human and animal diets. Ranging from simple phenolic molecules to highly polymerized compounds with molecular weights of greater than 30,000 Da, the occurrence of this complex group of substances in plant foods is extremely variable. Polyphenols traditionally have been considered antinutrients by animal nutritionists, because of the adverse effect of tannins, one type of polyphenol, on protein digestibility. However, recent interest in food phenolics has increased greatly, owing to their antioxidant capacity (free radical scavenging and metal chelating activities) and their possible beneficial implications in human health, such as in the treatment and prevention of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other pathologies. Much of the literature refers to a single group of plant phenolics, the flavonoids. This review offers an overview of the nutritional effects of the main groups of polyphenolic compounds, including their metabolism, effects on nutrient bioavailability, and antioxidant activity, as well as a brief description of the chemistry of polyphenols and their occurrence in plant foods.
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              Microalgae for oil: strain selection, induction of lipid synthesis and outdoor mass cultivation in a low-cost photobioreactor.

              Thirty microalgal strains were screened in the laboratory for their biomass productivity and lipid content. Four strains (two marine and two freshwater), selected because robust, highly productive and with a relatively high lipid content, were cultivated under nitrogen deprivation in 0.6-L bubbled tubes. Only the two marine microalgae accumulated lipid under such conditions. One of them, the eustigmatophyte Nannochloropsis sp. F&M-M24, which attained 60% lipid content after nitrogen starvation, was grown in a 20-L Flat Alveolar Panel photobioreactor to study the influence of irradiance and nutrient (nitrogen or phosphorus) deprivation on fatty acid accumulation. Fatty acid content increased with high irradiances (up to 32.5% of dry biomass) and following both nitrogen and phosphorus deprivation (up to about 50%). To evaluate its lipid production potential under natural sunlight, the strain was grown outdoors in 110-L Green Wall Panel photobioreactors under nutrient sufficient and deficient conditions. Lipid productivity increased from 117 mg/L/day in nutrient sufficient media (with an average biomass productivity of 0.36 g/L/day and 32% lipid content) to 204 mg/L/day (with an average biomass productivity of 0.30 g/L/day and more than 60% final lipid content) in nitrogen deprived media. In a two-phase cultivation process (a nutrient sufficient phase to produce the inoculum followed by a nitrogen deprived phase to boost lipid synthesis) the oil production potential could be projected to be more than 90 kg per hectare per day. This is the first report of an increase of both lipid content and areal lipid productivity attained through nutrient deprivation in an outdoor algal culture. The experiments showed that this marine eustigmatophyte has the potential for an annual production of 20 tons of lipid per hectare in the Mediterranean climate and of more than 30 tons of lipid per hectare in sunny tropical areas.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Mar Drugs
                Mar Drugs
                marinedrugs
                Marine Drugs
                MDPI
                1660-3397
                24 May 2019
                May 2019
                : 17
                : 5
                : 304
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Food Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor 43400, Malaysia; ines.barkia@ 123456gmail.com
                [2 ]Department of Molecular Biosciences, UTEX Culture Collection of Algae, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA; schonna.manning@ 123456utexas.edu
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: nazamid@ 123456upm.edu.my
                Author information
                https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4185-9415
                Article
                marinedrugs-17-00304
                10.3390/md17050304
                6562505
                31137657
                461b3bbe-0304-4abd-9c9a-143ccb171eb0
                © 2019 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                History
                : 25 March 2019
                : 02 April 2019
                Categories
                Review

                Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical medicine
                microalgae,bioactive compounds,health benefits,antioxidant activity,antihypertensive activity,anti-inflammatory activity

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