Original Paper

Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society

, Volume 89, Issue 2, pp 189-198

Optimization of an Analytical Procedure for Extraction of Lipids from Microalgae

  • Eline RyckeboschAffiliated withK. U. Leuven Kulak, Research Unit Food and Lipids, Department of Molecular and Microbial Systems, Leuven Food and Nutrition Research Centre (LFoRCe) Email author 
  • , Koenraad MuylaertAffiliated withK. U. Leuven Kulak, Lab Aquatic Biology, Biology Department
  • , Imogen FoubertAffiliated withK. U. Leuven Kulak, Research Unit Food and Lipids, Department of Molecular and Microbial Systems, Leuven Food and Nutrition Research Centre (LFoRCe)

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Abstract

An optimized procedure for extraction of total and non-polar lipids from microalgae is proposed. The effects of solvent, pretreatment (lyophilization, inactivation of lipases, and addition of antioxidants) and cell-disruption (liquid nitrogen, sonication, and bead beating) on total lipid content, lipid class, and fatty acid composition were examined. Chloroform–methanol 1:1 was shown to be the best solvent mixture for extraction of total lipids from microalgae. When performing this extraction, lyophilized algae can be used, no pretreatment with isopropanol to inactivate the lipases is needed and addition of antioxidants is not necessary. Furthermore, cell-disruption is not essential, although in that case two extractions must be performed in series to ensure that, irrespective of the microalgal species, all lipids are extracted. Determination of non-polar lipid content should be performed by separation of the total lipid extract on an SPE column. Extraction using petroleum ether is only appropriate when a bead beater is used for pretreatment.

Keywords

Algae Lipid extraction Solvent mixture Pretreatment Cell-disruption Fat content