Benefits of using algae as natural sources of functional ingredients

Authors


Correspondence to: Elena Ibañez, Institute of Food Science Research (CIAL, CSIC-UAM), Nicolás Cabrera 9, Campus de Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain. E-mail: elena.ibanez@csic.es

Abstract

Algae have been suggested as a potential source of bioactive compounds to be used in the food and pharmaceutical industries. With the strong development of functional foods as a method to improve or maintain health, the exploration of new compounds with real health effects is now an intense field of research. The potential use of algae as source of functional food ingredients, such as lipids, proteins, polysaccharides, phenolics, carotenoids, etc., is presented, together with the different possibilities of improving valuable metabolites production either using the tools and the knowledge provided by marine biotechnology or improving the different factors involved in the production on a large scale of such metabolites. The bio-refinery concept is also presented as a way to improve the efficient use of algae biomass while favouring process sustainability. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry

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