Production, characterization and ultrafiltration of bioactive extracts derived from the microalgae Senedesmus obliquus

Sara A. Cunha, Rita de Castro, Ezequiel R. Coscueta, Joana Laranjeira da Silva, Manuela E. Pintado

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review



Algae are very abundant worldwide and contains compounds with high biological value, such as proteins, amino acids, antioxidants. It is noteworthy that some algae species contain protein levels similar to meat, soybean and milk. Micro and macroalgae have been studied as a source of bioactive compounds, such as bioactive peptides, with properties of interest for humans and animals. In vitro, enzymatic hydrolysis is one of the most described methods for producing peptides. Thus, in this work the microalgae Senedesmus obliquus was used with the goal of producing water soluble extracts rich in proteins and bioactive peptides. The Senedesmus obliquus used showed 45.7% of protein, 9.1% of lipids, 15.6% of carbohydrates and 15.8% of fibers. Extracts were produced from the microalgae by enzymatic hydrolysis, using ultrapure water as the solvent. First, the mixture was incubated at 50ºC for 2h with a cellulase to weaken the cellular wall and help releasing proteins. Secondly, the mixture was incubated with a protease at 40ºC for 2h, to hydrolyse the proteins into smaller peptides. One half of the produced extract was fractionated by ultrafiltration in a Tangential Flow Filtration System (Cogent μScale) using a cut-off of 3KDa. The protein content was determined by Kjeldahl, the antioxidant activity was determined by ORAC and ABTS assays and anti-hypertensive property was determined by the inhibition method of Angiotensin-I converting enzyme (iACE). The hydrolysis strategy resulted in high levels of hydrolysis with a yield of 52% of soluble protein. The biological activity of non-fractionated extract showed ORAC and iACE results of 530 μmol TE/g of extract and an IC of 200 μg protein/mL, respectively. The showed ORAC results of 597 μmol TE/g of extract. So, due to its protein richness and interesting bioactivities, Senedesmus obliquus extracts may have potential to be used in food and cosmetic industries.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021
EventInternational Conference on Algal Biomass, Biofuels and Bioproducts - Online, Waikoloa Beach, United States
Duration: 14 Jun 202116 Jun 2021


ConferenceInternational Conference on Algal Biomass, Biofuels and Bioproducts
Abbreviated titleAlgalBBB 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWaikoloa Beach


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