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      The Red Seaweed Gracilaria gracilis as a Multi Products Source

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          Abstract

          In recent years seaweeds have increasingly attracted interest in the search for new drugs and have been shown to be a primary source of bioactive natural compounds and biomaterials. In the present investigation, the biochemical composition of the red seaweed Gracilaria gracilis, collected seasonally in the Lesina Lagoon (Southern Adriatic Sea, Lesina, Italy), was assayed by means of advanced analytical techniques, such as gas-chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry and spectrophotometric tests. In particular, analysis of lipids, fatty acids, sterols, proteins, phycobiliproteins and carbohydrates as well as phenolic content, antioxidant and radical scavenging activity were performed. In winter extracts of G. gracilis, a high content of R-phycoerythrin together with other valuable products such as arachidonic acid (PUFA ω-6), proteins and carbohydrates was observed. High antioxidant and radical scavenging activities were also detected in summer extracts of the seaweed together with a high content of total phenols. In conclusion, this study points out the possibility of using Gracilaria gracilis as a multi products source for biotechnological, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical applications even although more investigations are required for separating, purifying and characterizing these bioactive compounds.

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          Most cited references 75

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          A rapid method of total lipid extraction and purification.

           E G BLIGH,  W. Dyer (1959)
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            Antioxidant Activity and Total Phenolics in Selected Fruits, Vegetables, and Grain Products

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              Marine Bioactives as Functional Food Ingredients: Potential to Reduce the Incidence of Chronic Diseases

              The marine environment represents a relatively untapped source of functional ingredients that can be applied to various aspects of food processing, storage, and fortification. Moreover, numerous marine-based compounds have been identified as having diverse biological activities, with some reported to interfere with the pathogenesis of diseases. Bioactive peptides isolated from fish protein hydrolysates as well as algal fucans, galactans and alginates have been shown to possess anticoagulant, anticancer and hypocholesterolemic activities. Additionally, fish oils and marine bacteria are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, while crustaceans and seaweeds contain powerful antioxidants such as carotenoids and phenolic compounds. On the basis of their bioactive properties, this review focuses on the potential use of marine-derived compounds as functional food ingredients for health maintenance and the prevention of chronic diseases.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Mar Drugs
                Mar Drugs
                marinedrugs
                Marine Drugs
                MDPI
                1660-3397
                30 September 2013
                October 2013
                : 11
                : 10
                : 3754-3776
                Affiliations
                [1 ]STAR-Agroenergy Research Group, University of Foggia, via Gramsci 89/91, Foggia 71121, Italy; E-Mail: massimo.monteleone@ 123456unifg.it
                [2 ]Institute of Marine Science, National Research Council, via Pola 4, Lesina 71010, Italy; E-Mail: massimo.franchi@ 123456fg.ismar.cnr.it
                [3 ]Institute for Coastal Marine Environment, National Research Council, via Roma 3, Taranto 74121, Italy; E-Mail: carmela.caroppo@ 123456iamc.cnr.it
                Author notes
                [* ] Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: matteo.francavilla@ 123456unifg.it ; Tel.: +39-340-392-7680; Fax: +39-088-299-2352.
                Article
                marinedrugs-11-03754
                10.3390/md11103754
                3826134
                24084791
                b903bb42-8de0-4148-a15c-1d682918d3cf
                © 2013 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 license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

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