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A comparative analysis of different extraction solvent systems on the extractability of eicosapentaenoic acid from the marine eustigmatophyte Nannochloropsis oceanica

Mitra, Madhusree, Mishra, Sandhya
Algal research 2019 v.38 pp. 101387
Nannochloropsis, chloroform, eicosapentaenoic acid, fatty acid composition, lipid content, microalgae, oils, omega-3 fatty acids, solvents, toxicity
Omega-3 fatty acid rich microalgal oil is currently gaining attention as a sustainable and promising alternative to other sources. This work aims to evaluate the recovery of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, C20:5n3) from Nannochloropsis oceanica by means of six different solvent systems including a classic system such as chloroform:methanol along with four other non-toxic mixes. The total lipids and lipid classes are also assessed along with the fatty acid profiles. Despite the high lipid content in chloroform:methanol (1:2); hexane:methanol (3:2) and dichloromethane:methanol (2:1), solvent systems result in higher amounts of EPA recovery, thus making them a suitable choice for extracting EPA compared to toxic solvents such as chloroform. However, an extensive comparative analysis was needed to validate the extraction efficacy of these solvent systems for scaling-up the process. Furthermore, the pigment profile of N. oceanica extracted using different extracts is also evaluated in this study.