Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 103, Issue 23–24, pp 9455–9464 | Cite as

A cascade extraction of active phycocyanin and fatty acids from Galdieria phlegrea

  • Paola Imbimbo
  • Valeria Romanucci
  • Antonino Pollio
  • Carolina Fontanarosa
  • Angela Amoresano
  • Armando Zarrelli
  • Giuseppe OlivieriEmail author
  • Daria Maria MontiEmail author
Biotechnologically relevant enzymes and proteins


The setup of an economic and sustainable method to increase the production and commercialization of products from microalgae, beyond niche markets, is a challenge. Here, a cascade approach has been designed to optimize the recovery of high valuable bioproducts starting from the wet biomass of Galdieria phlegrea. This unicellular thermo-acidophilic red alga can accumulate high-value compounds and can live under conditions considered hostile to most other species. Extractions were performed in two sequential steps: a conventional high-pressure procedure to recover phycocyanins and a solvent extraction to obtain fatty acids. Phycocyanins were purified to the highest purification grade reported so far and were active as antioxidants on a cell-based model. Fatty acids isolated from the residual biomass contained high amount of PUFAs, more than those recovered from the raw biomass. Thus, a simple, economic, and high effective procedure was set up to isolate phycocyanin at high purity levels and PUFAs.


Galdieria phlegrea Phycocyanin Lipids Biorefinery approach 



Authors would like to thank Dr. Davide Liberti for his work during his Master thesis.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any study with human participants or animals.

Supplementary material

253_2019_10154_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (51 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 50 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical SciencesUniversity of Naples Federico IINaplesItaly
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of Naples Federico IINaplesItaly
  3. 3.Bioprocess Engineering GroupWageningen University and ResearchWageningenthe Netherlands

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