Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 281–299 | Cite as

Approaches for the sustainable production of fucoxanthin, a xanthophyll with potential health benefits

  • Amirreza Zarekarizi
  • Linn Hoffmann
  • David BurrittEmail author


Fucoxanthin is a xanthophyll and one of the main marine carotenoids. It is present in macro- and micro-algae as a component of photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes. Fucoxanthin has been shown to be bioactive in a variety of model systems, having antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, anti-obesity, anti-aging, anti-angiogenic, and anti-metastatic effects in animals. Fucoxanthin has been proven to be safe for consumption by animals, including humans, and hence has the potential to be used as a bioactive molecule for the prevention and/or treatment of diseases in humans. In this review, we provide an overview of the main fucoxanthin-containing algae and the fucoxanthin biosynthetic pathway in algae, and discuss the potential health benefits of fucoxanthin for humans. We summarize the various methods that can be used to extract fucoxanthin from algae and evaluate the potential of biotechnological approaches, such as cell culture and the genetic engineering, for sustainable fucoxanthin production.


Fucoxanthin Xanthophylls Carotenoids Bioactivity Cell culture Genetic engineering 


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institue of Medicinal PlantThe Academic Center for Education, Culture and Research (ACECR)KarajIran
  2. 2.Department of BotanyUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand

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