Carotenoid composition of three bloom-forming algae species

J. Deli, S. Gonda, L. Z.S. Nagy, I. Szabó, G. Gulyás-Fekete, A. Agócs, K. Marton, G. Vasas

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15 Citations (Scopus)


Algal mass productions are widespread events throughout the world. Most research deals with the environmental impact, ecology and toxicity of these phenomena, but the algae are also promising sources of bioactive natural products, and also are potential food additives. In the current study, we aimed to characterize the carotenoid composition of three non-toxic algal isolates with distinct taxonomical position, namely Dunaliella salina, Euglena sanguinea and a Nostoc strain.The strains were screened for carotenoid composition with HPLC-UV-APCI-MS with comparison with authentic standards. Carotenoids were purified with open column chromatography, and characterized by LC-UV-MS and NMR.All three species contained a high amount of carotenoids. The composition of the carotenoid pattern was somewhat different compared to literature data. The Dunaliella carotenoid fraction contained lutein (52.1% of total carotenoid), β-carotene (13.1%), violaxanthin (11.5%) and neoxanthin (6.2%) as chief compounds. The chief carotenoids in the Nostoc strain was echinenone (34.9%), while the main components of the Euglena isolate were diatoxanthin (39.0%), lutein (23.7%), an unidentified carotenoid (9.6%) and β-carotene (5.4%). Diatoxanthin is identified by NMR spectroscopy.The carotenoid patterns of the examined strains are somewhat different from the patterns described in the literature. This can be the results of genetic or environmental differences, or combinations thereof. Despite these differences, our study shows the potency of these algae in production of carotenoids, and possibly, usage as food additives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-223
Number of pages9
JournalFood Research International
Issue numberPB
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Carotenoids
  • HPLC
  • Microalgae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science

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    Deli, J., Gonda, S., Nagy, L. Z. S., Szabó, I., Gulyás-Fekete, G., Agócs, A., Marton, K., & Vasas, G. (2014). Carotenoid composition of three bloom-forming algae species. Food Research International, 65(PB), 215-223.