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Edible Oil Production From Microalgae: A Review

Xue, Zhaohui, Wan, Fang, Yu, Wancong, Liu, Jing, Zhang, Zhijun, Kou, Xiaohong
European journal of lipid science and technology 2018 v.120 no.6 pp. e1700428
aquatic environment, biomass, cooking fats and oils, crops, economic feasibility, fatty acid composition, humans, industrialization, lipid content, microalgae, photosynthesis, polyunsaturated fatty acids, refining, researchers, sustainable technology
Microalgae are considered an interesting candidate for the sustainable production of edible oils. Because microalgae contain abundant polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and have high photosynthetic rates and high oil productivity, they are superior to terrestrial oleaginous crops for producing edible oils. Microalgae are cultivated in aquatic environments, and thus, oil extraction methods for microalgae must consider the influence of water. This paper provides an overview of the suitability of microalgal lipid compositions and proposes a selection of species for edible oil production. The numerous technologies currently available for pretreatment, wet extraction and the refining of edible oils from microalgae are collated and presented, with a primary focus on the key parameters influencing process performance. Furthermore, the paper presents a proposed solution for a microalgae integrated system for edible oil production, which is a possible future direction to develop an economical and environmentally friendly process for the resource utilization of microalgal biomass. Practical Application: Microalgae might be the most promising source of edible oils, with potential applications in food industrialization, due to its rich oil content and its characteristic fatty acid composition. The review provides a selection criterion of microalgal species to help researchers exploit microalgae to produce superior edible oils for human consumption. Various process parameters and wet extraction methods are discussed that may be conducive to improving process performance and achieving high oil recovery yields. By considering the maximum utilization of microalgal biomass, an integrated system in this review would assist in economical production during further studies. Microalgae are the most promising candidates for edible oil production. Cell disruption, extraction, and refining are important processes for microalgal oils and on this basis, wet extraction and resource utilization can further promote the economic feasibility of microalgal process.