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EMERGENT LIFE SCIENCES RESEARCH - Vol 1 Issue 2, Published on 31, December 2015

Pages: 1-7
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Nutritional Evaluation of Edible Freshwater Green Macroalga Spirogyra varians

Author: Sawitree Tipnee, Rameshprabu Ramaraj, Yuwalee Unpaprom



Freshwater macroalgae are important sources of bioactive natural substances. Macroalgae accumulate specific secondary metabolites which are high value products that have applications in the cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical industries. Macroalgae Spirogyra is being used as nutrient dense foods and sources of fine chemicals. The freshwater alga Spirogyra varians, a filamentous charophyte, collected from the slow running stream, was identified on the basis of morpho-anatomical characters. In this study, a novel strategy that employs a single macroalgae S. varians grown in a natural habitat as a platform to produce pigments, protein, rich carbohydrate and lipid biomass, as desired, was introduced. The pigments, phenolic content and mineral composition showed the possibility of using them as food supplement for human. The total content of protein (% dry weight) ranged from 12.0 % to 24.4%; carbohydrate from 42.8% to 62.0% and lipid from 14.8% to 21.0%.  Therefore, the study results suggested that S. varians, could be used for nutritional, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.

Keywords: phenolic content, pigments, minerals, nutrition, Spirogyra varians