This PhD thesis shows that thermo-acidophilic red microalgae can be used to produce natural blue pigments and functional carbohydrates. Red microalgae are very ancient, unicellular, simple eukaryotic algae that thrive in volcanic acid hot springs. Red microalgae were one of the first eukaryotic microorganisms, i.e. with a nucleus and organelles, that emerged some 1.2 billion years ago. They grow relatively easily without the risk of infections as they thrive at extremely acidic conditions, at which many other microorganisms cannot survive. The red microalga Cyanidioschyzon merolae grows solely on light and carbon dioxide, including flue gas from power plants, producing various photo pigments such as the blue-coloured phycocaynin. Using an osmotic shock with ultra pure water, phycocyanin is easily extracted from C. merolae cells to a high purity. This phycocyanin can be used in all kinds of blue-coloured food products such as ice cream, wine gums, wine, and the alcoholic beverage Blue Curaçao. Strains of the species Galdieria sulphuraria grow in the dark on air (oxygen) and maltodextrin, derived from starch, on galactose and glucose, a side product from the conversion of the milk sugar lactose, and on glycerol, a side product of biodiesel production from natural oils and fats. These Galdieria strains can be isolated without much effort from acidic hot springs found in Indonesia and other volcanic places around the world. The Indonesian isolates produce the functional carbohydrates glycogen and floridoside, which can be used in sport drinks, kidney dialysis fluids, and skin care products. In short, red microalgae are a sustainable and simple biological production system of functional food and cosmetic ingredients.
|Translated title of the contribution||Fotopigmenten en functionele koolhydraten van Cyanidiales|
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Place of Publication||[Groningen]|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|