Alternative sources of bioactive lipids: challenges and perspectives (microalgae, plant seeds)

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Microalgae and plant seeds are considered alternative sources of bioactive lipids, since both comprise lipids known to positively impact distinct biological processes. Nonetheless, some challenges must be overcome to develop viable products. Production of microalgae with increased bioactive lipid contents is one, which may be addressed by modulating growth conditions. Another is lipid extraction from microalgae biomass and plant seeds, for which a multitude of processes is available. However, extractions must be optimized to achieve the best yields, with the lowest environmental impact. Finally, lipids must be protected from the adverse conditions that they may encounter, such as passage through the gastrointestinal tract and storage conditions, which may oxidize the bioactive lipids, as most of them are extremely prone to oxidation, and render the products useless. Moreover, some products of such oxidation are known to be harmful to health. One strategy used to overcome this challenge is encapsulation. In this chapter, we will address the obtention of the lipids, their bioactivities, the challenges that must be overcome, and the perspectives concerning all these issues.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBioactive lipids
EditorsManuela Pintado, Manuela Machado, Ana Maria Gomes, Ana Sofia Salsinha, Luís Miguel Rodríguez-Alcalá
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9780128240434
ISBN (Print)9780128241745
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • Sterols
  • Extraction
  • Antiinflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Lipid stability


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