Novel method for extraction of carotenoids from microalgae

Milton Sommerfeld (Inventor)

Research output: Patent


The natural red pigment and high-value antioxidant astaxanthin has great potential for aquaculture and human consumption. The green microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis is the most popular production strain because it grows rapidly and produces comparatively large amounts of astaxanthin, but current harvesting methods are inefficient due to the cells' thick, rigid walls. A cost-effective, energy-efficient, and environmentally benign method for astaxanthin extraction would find immediate application. Researchers at the Laboratory for Algae Research and Biotechnology (LARB) of Arizona State University have developed an improved system to harvest astaxanthin from Haematococcus using dissolved air flotation combined with acidification and solvent extraction using an environmentally benign solvent. This improved system is capable of harvesting more than 95% of the Haematococcus biomass without the need for a coagulant or flocculent, and extracting over 95% of the intracellular astaxanthin from Haematococcus biomass. Potential Applications production of food grade astaxanthin from Haematococcus pluvialis production of feed grade astaxanthin from Haematococcus pluvialis as a pigment for aquaculture and poultry industries Benefits and Advantages cost-efficient and energy efficient greatly improved harvest yields coagulant and flocculent are not required short extraction time and high extraction efficiency environmentally benign solvent used for extraction improved preservation of nutritional value and purity of cell mass reduced oxidation/degradation of astaxanthin and other carotenoids during extraction Download Original PDF For more information about the inventor(s) and their research, please see Dr. Hu's departmental webpage Dr. Sommerfield's departmental webpage
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Aug 15 2011


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