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Hassan Zadeh, Mahdi, 2024. Microalgae: A Promising, Yet Challenging, Source of Sustainable Omega-3 PUFAs. First cycle, G2E. Uppsala: SLU, Department of Molecular Sciences



Humans need omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), especially eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Despite being involved in many functions such as cell signaling, anti-inflammatory reactions, and more, the body can only synthesize them in a small amount, which makes them semi-essential in this manner. Furthermore, the sustainability of these traditional sources, like fish oil raises questions as the increasing world population leads to a greater demand. Microscopic water creatures known as microalgae provide potential as a sustainable substitution, as they are naturally able to produce DHA and EPA, which can be used for an efficient supply of these fatty acids.
The kingdom of microalgae is incredibly diverse. Certain species, such as Crypthecodinium and Nannochloropsis, are acknowledged leaders in the production and accumulation of PUFAs. It is important to study this biodiversity and choose strains with high PUFA content in order to maximize yield.
Some efforts are needed to obtain microalgal oil. There are a range of culture techniques, such as phototrophic cultivation (using sunlight), heterotrophic cultivation (using organic materials), and mixotrophic cultivation (using both). The processes of harvesting and drying microalgae are also important, as well as methods of cell disruption for effective lipid extraction and purification to produce an oil with a higher ratio of PUFA.
The production of PUFAs in microalgae is influenced by the surrounding environment. Factors such as the availability of vital nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), environmental pH and salinity of the environment, the delicate balance of temperature, light intensity, and wavelength, and the effect of CO2 concentration are briefly examined in this thesis. Microalgae have significant potential, and there are opportunities for development, such as manipulating cultivation factors to increase PUFA content.
Production costs are one of the challenges in scaling up microalgal oil manufacturing. Nevertheless, the researchers show a positive picture while acknowledging these difficulties. These challenges may be solved by further studies and advancements in culture techniques, opening the door to producing a cheaper and more sustainable PUFA from microalgae.
This study intends to create a better understanding of production and affecting factors for the production of PUFAs (particularly EPA and DHA) by microalgae. This may also help to give an outlook of microalgae as a new potential source of PUFAs, which can play a major role in enhancing human health in the future.

Main title:Microalgae: A Promising, Yet Challenging, Source of Sustainable Omega-3 PUFAs
Authors:Hassan Zadeh, Mahdi
Supervisor:Pickova, Jana
Examiner:Karkehabadi, Saeid
Series:Molecular Sciences
Volume/Sequential designation:2024:05
Year of Publication:2024
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:NK014 Food Science (BSc), 180.0hp
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Department of Molecular Sciences
Keywords:microalgae, PUFA, LC-PUFA, EPA, DHA, production steps, abiotic factors
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Deposited On:13 Jun 2024 06:26
Metadata Last Modified:14 Jun 2024 14:29

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