Our eating patterns have changed significantly since the beginning of the industrial revolution, with a notable increase in the intake of processed foods. Unfortunately, the loss of many vital components of natural foods during processing has resulted in a price for this transition.
The need to find other sources of natural substances that can satisfy the demand for both nutritional content and health benefits is developing in response to these issues. In order to solve the issues related to food and health security, this paper examines the developing role of microalgal carotenoids as a prospective source of natural and safe components.
The Nutraceutical Revolution:
In light of the growing consciousness around food and health security, microalgal carotenoids have surfaced as a potential remedy. The demand for nutraceuticals—which include functional and bioactive carotenoids made from microalgae—has significantly increased on a worldwide scale. These substances, which are marketed as new meals or ingredients, provide a special mix of medicinal and nutritional advantages.
Advantages of Carotenoids for Health:
The pigments called carotenoids, which give many fruits and vegetables their vivid colours, have a variety of biological functions as well as potential medical advantages. Among them are qualities that are neuroprotective, antibacterial, immunomodulatory, anticancer, and anti-diabetic. The search for natural sources of these advantageous substances becomes more and more important as society becomes more health-conscious.
A Sustainable Source: Microalgae
Microalgae’s scalability and high output in comparatively short growth periods have attracted interest as an appealing source of carotenoids. This enables the production of carotenoid microalgae a viable and effective substitute for conventional sources. Microalgae’s suitability for large-scale production is further increased by their capacity to adapt to different growth conditions.
Nutraceutical Biomolecule Synthesis
From microalgae culture to downstream processing, there are many complex steps involved in the synthesis of nutraceutical biomolecules. Innovative methods are being investigated by researchers to maximise carotenoids’ output without sacrificing their quality or safety. The review by Garg et al., (2023) explored the function that microalgal carotenoids play in improving the nutritional profile of food items as well as their physiological importance.
Microalgal carotenoids have a huge economic potential that goes beyond conventional food items to include nutritional supplements, medications, and cosmetics. These compounds’ flexibility creates opportunities for a wide range of applications, giving industry natural and sustainable substitutes for artificial additives.
In, the search for substitute sources becomes essential as the globe struggles with the problems presented by processed meals and their effects on health. Microalgal carotenoids are a potential option that provide a range of therapeutic advantages in addition to their nutritional worth. Advances in synthesis and processing methods, together with the scale potential of microalgae growth, place these chemicals at the forefront of the nutraceutical revolution. Accepting microalgal carotenoids opens the door to a sustainable and healthier future while also addressing the pressing issues with food and health security.
Garg, D., Bala, S., & Phutela, U. G. (2023). Microalgal nutraceuticals: unravelling solution to food-health nexus. Phytochemistry Reviews, 1-28. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11101-023-09888-7