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J Agric Food Chem. 2001 Jun;49(6):2966-72.

Biomass nutrient profiles of the microalga Nannochloropsis.

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Departamento de Ingeniería Química and Departamento de Edafología y Química Agrícola, Universidad de Almería, E-04120 Almería, Spain.


The nutritional composition of the marine eustigmatophyte Nannochloropsis spp. cultured in an indoor chemostat under continuous illumination was analyzed. Proximate composition, (moisture, ash, crude protein, available carbohydrates, fiber, lipids, and energy), nitrate, nucleic acid, mineral element (Na, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Cu, Zn, Mn, Pb, Cd, Cr, Ni, Co, and S), fatty acid, and pigment (carotenoids and chlorophyll) concentrations were determined. On average, the biomass contained 37.6% (w/w) available carbohydrates, 28.8% crude protein, and 18.4% total lipids. Mineral in 100 g of dry biomass were as follows: Ca (972 mg), K (533 mg), Na (659 mg), Mg (316 mg), Zn (103 mg), Fe (136 mg), Mn (3.4 mg), Cu (35.0 mg), Ni (0.22 mg), and Co (<0.1 mg). Toxic heavy metal contents (Cd and Pb) were negligible. Fatty acid content was as follows (on percent dry weight): 0.6% of 14:0, 5.0% of 16:0; 4.7% of 16:1omega7, 3.8% of 18:1omega9, 0.4% of 18:2omega6; 0.7% of 20:4omega6, and 2.2% of 20:5omega3. Nutrient composition of the biomass was highly influenced by residence time in the photobioreactor. The biomass harvested for short residence times was richer in protein and eicosapentaenoic acid than biomass harvested for high residence time.

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