Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp 573–580 | Cite as

Nutritional properties of four marine microalgae for albino rats

  • C. Herrero
  • J. Abalde
  • J. Fabregas


The nutritive value of the marine microalgaeTetraselmis suecica, Isochrysis galbana, Dunaliella tertiolecta andChlorella stigmatophora was studied in diets given to rats. Biological assays were carried out in order to determine the Protein Efficiency Ratio (PER) and the Food Conversion Efficiency (FCE). Each dried microalga was fed to weaning Wistar albino rats as the sole protein source at a protein level of 12%. Control rats were given diets containing 12 % casein. Food consumption was similar in all groups. PER values obtained were 1.14 withT. suecica diet, 1.13 withI. galbana diet, 2.07 withD. tertiolecta diet and 1.13 withC. stigmatophora diet (casein, 2.50). FCE values followed a similar pattern. The data showed that the marine microalgaD. tertiolecta is a source of protein of good quality. Its PER is quite high, compared to vegetable and cereal proteins, and compares favourably with other microbial protein sources, such as yeasts or different freshwater microalgae. Haematological tests showed no significant differences among the groups in haemoglobin levels, red and white blood cell counts, differential count and mean corpuscular volume. Different blood parameters were also determined and a significant decrease in triglycerides levels appeared with all the microalgal diets, whereas a significant decrease in cholesterol appeared inD. tertiolecta andC. stigmatophora diets.

Key words

marine microalgae protein efficiency ratio food conversion efficiency 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Herrero
    • 1
  • J. Abalde
    • 1
  • J. Fabregas
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratorio de Microbiología, Departamento de Biología Celular y MolecularFacultad de Ciencias, Universidad de La Coruña, Campus de A Zapateira s/n.La CoruñaSpain
  2. 2.Laboratorio de Microbiologia, Departamento de Microbiología y ParasitologíaFacultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Santiago de CompostelaSantiago de CompostelaSpain

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