An analysis of microalgae encapsulation systems for food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic applications

Publish Year: 1401
نوع سند: مقاله کنفرانسی
زبان: English
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تاریخ نمایه سازی: 3 آبان 1401


Microalgae or microphytes are microscopic algae invisible to the naked eye. They are phytoplankton typically found in freshwater and marine systems, living in both the water column and sediment. They are unicellular species which exist individually, or in chains or groups. Depending on the species, their sizes can range from a few micrometers (μm) to a few hundred micrometers. Unlike higher plants, microalgae do not have roots, stems, or leaves. They are specially adapted to an environment dominated by viscous forces. Microalgae, capable of performing photosynthesis, are important for life on earth; they produce approximately half of the atmospheric oxygen and use the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide to grow photoautotrophically. "Marine photosynthesis is dominated by microalgae, which together with cyanobacteria, are collectively called phytoplankton." Microalgae, together with bacteria, form the base of the food web and provide energy for all the trophic levels above them. Microalgae biomass is often measured with chlorophyll a concentrations and can provide a useful index of potential production.Microalgae are microorganisms with a singular biochemical composition, including several biologically active compounds with proven pharmacological activities, such as anticancer, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, among others. These properties make microalgae an interesting natural resource to be used as a functional ingredient, as well as in the prevention and treatment of diseases, or cosmetic formulations. Nevertheless, natural bioactives often possess inherent chemical instability and/or poor solubility, which are usually associated with low bioavailability. As such, their industrial potential as a health-promoting substance might be severely compromised. In this context, encapsulation systems are considered as a promising and emerging strategy to overcome these shortcomings due to the presence of a surrounding protective layer. Diverse systems have already been reported in the literature for natural bioactives, where some of them have been successfully applied to microalgae compounds. Therefore, this review focuses on exploring encapsulation systems for microalgae biomass, their extracts, or purified bioactives for food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic purposes. Moreover, this work also covers the most common encapsulation techniques and types of coating materials used, along with the main findings regarding the beneficial effects of these systems.


Maryam Mohammadzadeh

Master of Engineering in Food Science and Industry, Biotechnology, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Unit, Tehran, Iran,