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PLoS One. 2015 Feb 27;10(2):e0118985. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0118985. eCollection 2015.

Nutritional evaluation of Australian microalgae as potential human health supplements.

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College of Marine and Environmental Science, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia.
College of Marine and Environmental Science, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia; MBD Energy Ltd, Melbourne, Australia.


This study investigated the biochemical suitability of Australian native microalgal species Scenedesmus sp., Nannochloropsis sp., Dunaliella sp., and a chlorophytic polyculture as nutritional supplements for human health. The four microalgal cultures were harvested during exponential growth, lyophilized, and analysed for proximate composition (moisture, ash, lipid, carbohydrates, and protein), pigments, and amino acid and fatty acid profiles. The resulting nutritional value, based on biochemical composition, was compared to commercial Spirulina and Chlorella products. The Australian native microalgae exhibited similar, and in several cases superior, organic nutritional properties relative to the assessed commercial products, with biochemical profiles rich in high-quality protein, nutritious polyunsaturated fats (such as α-linolenic acid, arachidonic acid, and eicosapentaenoic acid), and antioxidant pigments. These findings indicate that the microalgae assessed have great potential as multi-nutrient human health supplements.

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