A cascade extraction of active phycocyanin and fatty acids from Galdieria phlegrea

Paola Imbimbo, Valeria Romanucci, Antonino Pollio, Carolina Fontanarosa, Angela Amoresano, Armando Zarrelli, Giuseppe Olivieri*, Daria Maria Monti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The setup of an economic and sustainable method to increase the production and commercialization of products from microalgae, beyond niche markets, is a challenge. Here, a cascade approach has been designed to optimize the recovery of high valuable bioproducts starting from the wet biomass of Galdieria phlegrea. This unicellular thermo-acidophilic red alga can accumulate high-value compounds and can live under conditions considered hostile to most other species. Extractions were performed in two sequential steps: a conventional high-pressure procedure to recover phycocyanins and a solvent extraction to obtain fatty acids. Phycocyanins were purified to the highest purification grade reported so far and were active as antioxidants on a cell-based model. Fatty acids isolated from the residual biomass contained high amount of PUFAs, more than those recovered from the raw biomass. Thus, a simple, economic, and high effective procedure was set up to isolate phycocyanin at high purity levels and PUFAs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9455-9464
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number23-24
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • Biorefinery approach
  • Galdieria phlegrea
  • Lipids
  • Phycocyanin


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