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Current Opinion in Food Science
Volume 51, 2023, 101034

Enzyme-assisted disruption of oleaginous microalgae to increase the extraction of lipids: Nannochloropsis as a case study

Esther Mienis1,2, Dries Vandamme3, Imogen Foubert1,2

KU Leuven Kulak, Research Unit Food & Lipids, E. Sabbelaan, 8500 Kortrijk, Belgium.


Photoautotrophic microalgae such as the marine microalga Nannochloropsis, are unicellular organisms able to synthesise valuable lipids for application in food, aquaculture, agriculture and bioenergy. Their rigid cell walls limit the extraction of lipids. Therefore enzyme-assisted disruption (EAD) methods are often used to increase the lipid extraction yield. While EAD of Nannochloropsis can increase lipid extraction yield, the enzyme and solvent selection, as well as treatment conditions vary considerably in the literature. This review gives an overview of recent literature on EAD of Nannochloropsis to increase lipid extraction yield. Our aim is to provide guidelines and good practises for enzyme selection, pre-treatment and post-treatments, which can be extrapolated to other oleaginous microalgae.

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