Impact of temperature on fatty acid composition and nutritional value in eight species of microalgae
Microalgae are considered a sustainable source of high-value products with health benefits. Marine algae-derived omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA), such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are considered dietary elements with effects on mental health, cognition enhancement, and cardiovascular protection. This study investigated the temperature effect on omega-3 LC-PUFA production in eight species of microalgae from various taxonomic groups, with a focus on achieving an optimal balance between omega-3 accumulation and efficient growth performance. Samples were batch-cultivated at four different temperatures, with constant light, and fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) were analyzed by gas chromatography. Several nutritional indices were calculated to assess the potential value of biomass produced for human consumption. Two promising candidates were identified suitable for batch cultivation and large-scale production: Nannochloropsis oculata for EPA and Isochrysis galbana for DHA production, with optimum productivities obtained between 14 and 20 °C, and nutritional indices falling within the range required for nutritional benefit.
KeywordsMicroalgae Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) Omega-3 fatty acids Nutrition
This work was supported by SMART FOOD Science based Intelligent/Functional and Medical Foods for Optimum Brain Health, Targeting Depression and Cognition.
This study was funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine of Ireland (grant number ref. no. 13F 411).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
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