Extraction of Starch from Marine Microalgae, Chlorella salina: Efficiency and Recovery

  • Poh Ying Wong
  • Yuen Hing Lai
  • Soopna Puspanadan
  • Rozi Nuraika Ramli
  • Vuanghao Lim
  • Chee Keong LeeEmail author
Research paper


The issues of plastic waste arise owing to the global increase in plastic demand, which has surpassed the plastic recycling rate. Microalgae have become a sustainable feedstock to produce biodegradable thermoplastic starch because of their high yield, high photosynthetic efficiency, ease of cultivation and eco-friendliness. This research was conducted to determine the efficiency of different methods for starch extraction and recovery. Starch was extracted through ultrasonication, bead-beating and physicochemical methods and then separated, dried and analysed with a Megazyme total starch analysis kit. Of these tested methods, the physicochemical method (90 °C, 30 min) was the most efficient method for starch extraction, where the starch increment was 323.05% ± 32.03% relative to the control. However, the bead-beating method was the most efficient method when starch recovery was conducted on Chlorella salina cells, exhibiting the highest increment (96.60% ± 2.73%). Therefore, the physicochemical and bead-beating methods were the viable methods for enhancing the efficiency of starch extraction and recovery, respectively.

Article Highlights

  • Physicochemical method (90 °C, 30 min) was the most efficient method for starch extraction.

  • Bead-beating method was the most efficient method in starch recovery (96.60% ± 2.73%) from Chlorella salina cells

  • The physicochemical and bead-beating methods were the ideal methods for starch extraction and recovery, respectively


Thermoplastic starch (TPS) Chlorella salina Starch extraction Starch recovery 



The author (Wong, P.Y.) is grateful to his supervisor (Dr. Lee Chee Keong) for his encouragement, advice and patient guidance throughout the whole research project. The authors would like to thank the School of Industrial Technology, USM for allowing her to use the available facilities and equipment in the laboratory throughout the study. The author (Lee, C.K.) would like to express his greatest gratitude to USM for giving him a USM Research Universiti grant (1001/PTEKIND/811273).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Informed consent

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© University of Tehran 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bioprocess Technology Division, School of Industrial TechnologyUniversiti Sains MalaysiaUSMMalaysia
  2. 2.Integrative Medicine Cluster, Advanced Medical and Dental InstituteUniversiti Sains MalaysiaKepala BatasMalaysia

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