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Production of Eicosapentaenoic Acid and Fucoxanthin in Cold-Tolerant Diatom Strains

Authors: Nga Phuong Dang, Terje Vasskog, Ashwiny Pandey, Rajnish Kaur Calay


Diatoms hold great potential for nutraceutical production as they are source of high value products such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and pigment fucoxanthin. EPA has proven human health benefits, and fucoxanthin can be used as both medicinal and nutritional ingredient to prevent and treat chronic diseases. The economic perspective of commercial production of a single product from microalgae is not attractive due to the high production cost. To improve the economic viability, we explore the concept of combining the production of both EPA and fucoxanthin in a single process. In our current study, we isolated twelve new microalgae isolates from Ofotfjord. Eight of them are diatoms and 4 of them are cyanobacteria and microalgae. Screening the new diatom isolates revealed that two strains are cold-tolerant diatom which can grow at 10 °C. They accumulated significant amount of lipid, which was up to 40-60% of the dried mass. The EPA contents from the two strains ranged from 15-19% of the total fatty acid, while fucoxanthin concentrations were between 1-1.4% of the dried biomass. Comparing with other studied diatom, this is promising result. The two strains hold promise as source for EPA and fucoxanthin production.

Keywords: Microalgae, fucoxanthin, eicosapentaenoic acid, diatom, fatty acid.

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