04 February 2021

Chlorella instead of carrots

Scientists have obtained pigments from algae for dietary supplements

Ministry of Education and Science of Russia


During the cultivation of Chlorella microalgae, specialists of Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University obtained biomass with a high content of carotenoid pigments. It can be used to reduce vitamin A deficiency in children and adults, as well as to prevent patients at risk of cancer.

Environmental degradation (so in the text – VM) leads to the need for additional enrichment of the human diet with biologically valuable components. Of particular interest are carotenoids – natural organic pigments synthesized by bacteria, fungi, algae, higher plants and coral polyps. They perform the functions of antioxidants in the human body. At the same time, they are not formed in the human body, so they should be fed regularly.

"The resulting biomass with a high content of carotenoids can be used in various branches of the food and pharmaceutical industry as a dietary supplement in food formulations to reduce vitamin A deficiency in children and adults living in regions with increased environmental stress, as well as for the prevention of patients at risk of cancer. Chlorella microalgae biomass is also of interest as a feed additive," says Yulia Bazarnova, Director of the Higher School of Biotechnology and Food Production at the Institute of Biomedical Systems and Biotechnologies of SPbPU.

SPbPU scientists have developed the composition of the nutrient medium, the illumination conditions of the cell suspension, and selected methods for concentrating and dehydrating biomass. And by varying the cultivation conditions, the biosynthesis of carotenoids was stimulated.

Now scientists are developing new types of microcapsulated carriers for targeted delivery of additives to the body. The carrier includes extracts of Chlorella microalgae carotenoids (core) and biodegradable material (shell).

The results of the study are published in the scientific journal "Agronomy Research" (Bazarnova et al., A method for obtaining plastid pigments from the biomass of Chlorella microalgae).

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