Biochemical composition and in vitro digestibility of Galdieria sulphuraria grown on spent cherry-brine liquid

Marina Massa, Silvia Buono*, Antonio L. Langellotti, Anna Martello, Giovanni L. Russo, Dario A. Troise, Raffaele Sacchi, Paola Vitaglione, Vincenzo Fogliano

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this work was to valorise an industrial food by-product and to produce a microalgal biomass rich in phytochemicals at high added value for food and nutraceutical applications. The biochemical composition, in vitro digestibility and antioxidant activity of Galdieria sulphuraria biomass grown heterotrophically on standard medium (SM) and on spent Cherry-Brine Liquid (sCBL) were assessed and compared. The biomass produced in sCBL was characterized by a lower content of proteins and lipids, while showing an increase in carbohydrates and polyphenols (5.3 vs 1.6 mg g−1). The sCBL biomass lipid moiety had a lower palmitic and linoleic acid content and a higher oleic acid concentration than SM. The total protein digestibility of Galdieria grown in SM and sCBL was 79% and 63% respectively. The antioxidant activity (AA) of G. sulphuraria biomass grown in sCBL was significantly higher than that grown in SM. Studying the AA release for sCBL biomass during the digestion, the highest value was found in the intestinal phase. In conclusion, G. sulphuraria has a valuable nutritional profile and could become a valuable source of phytochemicals, depending on the cultivation media. Cultivation on sCBL would allow an environmentally and economically sustainable process, valorising the food by-product and producing a microalgal biomass rich in cherry anthocyanins with high AA released at the intestinal level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-15
Number of pages7
JournalNew Biotechnology
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2019


  • Biochemical composition
  • Galdieria sulphuraria
  • In vitro digestibility
  • Spent cherry-brine liquid


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