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ALGAEFUN: microalgae biorefinery for the production of food oleoresin and protein by-product

Grant number: 22/07750-4
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: January 01, 2023 - September 30, 2023
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology - Applied Microbiology
Principal Investigator:Jaqueline Carmo da Silva
Grantee:Jaqueline Carmo da Silva
Host Company:Seip7 Indústria e Comércio de Máquinas Ltda. - ME
CNAE: Aqüicultura em água salgada e salobra
Fabricação de produtos alimentícios não especificados anteriormente
Fabricação de medicamentos para uso humano
City: Sorocaba
Pesquisadores principais:
Caroline Schmitz
Associated scholarship(s):22/15986-8 - ALGAEFUN: microalgae biorefinery for the production of food oleoresin and protein by-product, BP.PIPE


Sustainable food and agriculture encourage practices that have minimal impacts on the environment and human health. The use of microalgae as an alternative nutritive source and as a potential agricultural input emphasizes the objective of the circular economy, the development of clean, safe, and ecologically correct technologies. The challenge lies in the use of the biorefinery to increase crop yields and in the extraction of high value-added compounds of interest so that the process is financially viable as well as environmentally sustainable. Phaeodactylum tricornutum and Haematococcus pluvialis are highlighted for their excellent production of interest compounds such as carotenoid pigments (astaxanthin and fucoxanthin) and fatty acids. A major appeal for optimizing the procurement of carotenoids through natural resources is the ban on the use of some synthetic carotenoids in the health food market by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) due to their low bioavailability and safety. In this research project, oleoresins obtained from microalgae biomass will be developed and characterized in terms of their fatty acid and carotenoid content through spectroscopic and chromatographic techniques to validate their nutraceutical potential. The association of vegetable oils with carotenoids and fatty acids increases its stability and prevents its early degradation. The generated by-product will also be evaluated by biochemical techniques to corroborate its use to obtain a hydrolyzed compound for use as an agricultural biostimulant. Both the resulting by-products, the oleoresin rich in carotenoids and fatty acids, and the by-product rich in amino acids and phytohormones, fit into exponentially growing markets. Therefore, this innovative work opens perspectives for the use of products extracted from microalgae cultures as sustainable and safe alternatives for food/nutritional and environmental development. (AU)

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