Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 110–113 | Cite as

Marine microalgae as a potential source of single cell protein (SCP)

  • Jaime Fabregas
  • Concepcion Herrero


The marine microalgaeTetraselmis suecica, Isochrysis galbana, Dunaliella tertiolecta andChlorella stigmatophora are good biological sources of single cell protein (SCP). Protein content accounts for 39.12%–54.20% of the dry matter,D. tertiolecta having the highest. Lysine values are between 3.67 and 4.52 g/100 g of protein, and thus are higher than those for freshwater species. The total nucleic acid content is less than 7% of the dry matter; this value is definitely lower than that for yeasts or bacteria, commonly used as SCP sources. Amino acid profiles of the four species are very similar and comparable to the FAO reference protein, buth with a low content of methionine and cystine and a high content of lysine. The MEAA indices are between 81 and 84.98, without significant differences among the four species. Marine microalgae can be used as a potential SCP source.


Nucleic Acid Lysine Methionine Acid Content Microalgae 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aaronson S, Dubinsky Z (1982) Mass production of microalgae. Experientia 38:36–40Google Scholar
  2. A.O.A.C. (1980) Official methods of analysis, 13th edn. Association of Official Agricultural Chemist, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  3. Becker EW, Venkataraman LV (1982) Biotechnology and exploitation of algae — the Indian approach. Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) D-6236 Eschlorm, Federal Republic of GermanyGoogle Scholar
  4. Boyd CE (1973) Amino acid composition of freshwater algae. Arch Hydrobiol 72:1–9Google Scholar
  5. Carpenter KJ (1960) The estimation of available lysine in animal-protein foods. Biochem J 77 (3):604–610PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Ciferri O (1983) Spirulina, the edible microorganism. Microbiol Rev 47 (4):551–578PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Documenta Geigy (1975) J. R. Geigy, Basle, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  8. Fabregas J, Herrero C, Cabezas B, Abalde J, Veiga M (1984) Growth of the marine microalga Tetraselmis suecica in batch cultures with different salinities and nutrient concentrations. Aquaculture 42:207–215CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (1970) Amino acid content of foods and biological data on proteins. FAO nutritional studies, no. 24. Rome, ItalyGoogle Scholar
  10. Gordon WG, Whitier EO (1966). In: Webb BH, Johnson AH (Eds) Fundamentals of dairy chemistry. Avi Publishing Co., Westport, Conn., USAGoogle Scholar
  11. Kihlberg R (1972) The microbe as source of food. Ann Rev Microbiol 26:427–466Google Scholar
  12. Kochert G (1978) Quantitation of the macromolecular components of microalgae. In: Hellebust JA, Craigie SS (eds) Handbook of phycological methods. Physiological and biochemical methods. Cambridge University Press, pp 189–195Google Scholar
  13. Menden E, Cremer HD (1970) Laboratory methods for the evaluation of changes in protein quality. In: Alnanese AA (ed) Newer methods of nutritional biochemistry with applications and interpretations. Academic Press, New York, pp 123–161Google Scholar
  14. Mitchell HH (1954) Biological values of proteins and amino acids interrelationships. In: Spector H, Peterson MS, Friedman TE (eds) Symposium on methods for the evaluation of nutritional adequacy and status. National Research Council, Washington, DC, pp 13–28Google Scholar
  15. Oser BL (1951) Method for integrating essential amino acid content in the nutritional evaluation of protein. J Am Diet Assoc 27:396–402PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Parsons TR, Takahashi M (1973) Biological oceanographic processes. Pergamon Press, Oxford, pp 39–49Google Scholar
  17. Protein-Calory Advisory Group of the United Nations System (1974) Fourth meeting of the PAG ad hoc working group on single cell protein. PAG Bull 4:9–31Google Scholar
  18. Riviere J (1977) Microbial proteins. In: Moss MO, Smith JE (eds) Industrial applications of microbiology. Surrey University Press, pp 105–149Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaime Fabregas
    • 1
  • Concepcion Herrero
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Microbiologia, Facultades de Farmacia y MedicinaUniversidad de Santiago de CompostelaSpain

Personalised recommendations