Amino acids, fatty acids, carotenoids, minerals and metals
In modern society, novel marine resources are scrutinized pursuing compounds of use in the medical, pharmaceutical, biotech, food or feed industry. Few of the numerous marine macroalgae are currently exploited. In this study, the contents of nutritional compounds from nine common North Atlantic red macroalgae were compared: the lipid content was low and constant among the species, whereas the fatty acid profiles indicated that these species constitute interesting sources of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). The dominating essential and non-essential amino acids were lysine and leucine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, and arginine, respectively. The amino acid score of the nine algae varied from 44% to 92%, the most commonly first limiting amino acid being histidine. Lutein, β-carotene, and zeaxanthin were the identified carotenoids. Contents of all macro and trace minerals, with the exception of phosphorus, were higher than those described for conventional food. Low sodium/potassium ratios (0.08 - 2.54) suggested a potential for using the ash fraction for sodium salt replacement. The algae constituted rich sources of carbohydrates (40% to 71% of DM) which show their potential for a broader commercial exploitation. In some species, the concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, and lead exceeded limit values for application in food or feed. In conclusion, the nine algae represent promising potential sources of health promoting additives for human and animal diets, in whole or in a biorefinery concept.
Natural Resources, 2016, Vol 7, Issue 4, p. 157-163