Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 1515–1526 | Cite as

Sequential extraction and characterization of fucoidans and alginates from Ecklonia radiata, Macrocystis pyrifera, Durvillaea potatorum, and Seirococcus axillaris

  • Andrew J. Lorbeer
  • Suvimol Charoensiddhi
  • Jelle Lahnstein
  • Claire Lars
  • Christopher M.M. Franco
  • Vincent Bulone
  • Wei ZhangEmail author


In a previous study, we optimized the acidic treatment of brown algae to facilitate the efficient sequential extraction of fucoidans and alginates, using a sample of the brown alga Ecklonia radiata. Here, we applied the optimized process to other brown algae feedstocks from South Australia, in order to assess their potential for valorization and to determine whether the process was effective when using different feedstocks. The starting materials included samples of Macrocystis pyrifera, Durvillaea potatorum, Seirococcus axillaris, and two more samples of E. radiata collected from different sites and at different periods. The initial feedstock sample (as used for optimization) was also included for comparison. In terms of product yields, the sequential process appeared to perform similarly for all feedstocks (30–40 % of total available fucoidans and 80–94 % of total available alginates), with the exception of Seirococcus axillaris (5.5 and 74 %, respectively). The remainder of the fucoidans either resisted extraction or were hydrolyzed by the acid treatment. The fucoidan extracts had sulfate contents of 10 to 30 % by weight and fucose contents of 12–30 % by weight and exhibited antioxidant potential, to which the presence of phlorotannins contributed. The quality of the alginates varied, with M. pyrifera yielding the most viscous (599 mPa s) and colorless alginates, while the alginates from S. axillaris had the lowest mannuronic to guluronic acid ratio (0.54), indicating the strongest gel-forming capability.


Alginate Fucoidan Biorefinery Integrated process Seaweed Macroalgae Phaeophyceae 



The authors wish to thank Fred Gurgel at the State Herbarium of South Australia for identifying the algae species. We would also like to acknowledge the funding support from the Premier’s Research and Industry Fund of the South Australian Government, Qingdao Gather Great Ocean Seaweed Industry Co., Ltd., Australian Kelp Products Pty Ltd., and Flinders University. The support of the Australian Research Council (project ID LP150100225) and the Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls is also gratefully acknowledged.


  1. Ale MT, Meyer AS (2013) Fucoidans from brown seaweeds: an update on structures, extraction techniques, and use of enzymes as tools for structural elucidation. RSC Adv 3:8131–8141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Benzie IF, Strain J (1996) The ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) as a measure of “antioxidant power”: the FRAP assay. Anal Biochem 239:70–76CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Bixler HJ, Porse H (2011) A decade of change in the seaweed hydrocolloids industry. J Appl Phycol 23:321–335CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Black W, Dewar E, Woodward F (1952) Manufacture of algal chemicals. IV—Laboratory-scale isolation of fucoidin from brown marine algae J Sci Food Agric 3:122–129Google Scholar
  5. Castro LSEPW, Pinheiro TS, Castro AJG, Santos MSN, Soriano EM, Leite EL (2015) Potential anti-angiogenic, antiproliferative, antioxidant, and anticoagulant activity of anionic polysaccharides, fucans, extracted from brown algae Lobophora variegata. J Appl Phycol 27:1315–1325CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Castro LSEW, Pinheiro TS, Castro AJ, Dore CM, da Silva NB, Alves MGCF, Santos MSN, Leite EL (2014) Fucose-containing sulfated polysaccharides from brown macroalgae Lobophora variegata with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antitumoral effects. J Appl Phycol 26:1783–1790CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chale-Dzul J, Moo-Puc R, Robledo D, Freile-Pelegrín Y (2015) Hepatoprotective effect of the fucoidan from the brown seaweed Turbinaria tricostata. J Appl Phycol 27:2123–2135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Charoensiddhi S, Franco C, Su P, Zhang W (2014) Improved antioxidant activities of brown seaweed Ecklonia radiata extracts prepared by microwave-assisted enzymatic extraction. J Appl Phycol 27:2049–2058CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cheshire AC, Hallam ND (1985) The environmental role of alginates in Durvillaea potatorum (Fucales, Phaeophyta). Phycologia 24:147–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Comino P, Shelat K, Collins H, Lahnstein J, Gidley MJ (2013) Separation and purification of soluble polymers and cell wall fractions from wheat, rye and hull less barley endosperm flours for structure-nutrition studies. J Agr Food Chem 61:12111–12122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Deniaud-Bouët E, Kervarec N, Michel G, Tonon T, Kloareg B, Hervé C (2014) Chemical and enzymatic fractionation of cell walls from Fucales: insights into the structure of the extracellular matrix of brown algae. Ann Bot 114:1203–1216CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  12. Dodgson K, Price R (1962) A note on the determination of the ester sulphate content of sulphated polysaccharides. Biochem J 84:106CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  13. Donati I, Paoletti S (2009) Material properties of alginates. in: Alginates: biology and applications, Springer, 1–53 ppGoogle Scholar
  14. Fitton JH, Dell’Acqua G, Gardiner V-A, Karpiniec SS, Stringer DN, Davis E (2015a) Topical benefits of two fucoidan-rich extracts from marine macroalgae. Cosmetics 2:66–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fitton JH, Stringer DN, Karpiniec SS (2015b) Therapies from fucoidan: an update. Mar Drugs 13:5920–5946CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  16. Foley SA, Szegezdi E, Mulloy B, Samali A, Tuohy MG (2011) An unfractionated fucoidan from Ascophyllum nodosum: extraction, characterization, and apoptotic effects in vitro. J Nat Prod 74:1851–1861CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Gomez CG, Pérez Lambrecht MV, Lozano JE, Rinaudo M, Villar MA (2009) Influence of the extraction–purification conditions on final properties of alginates obtained from brown algae (Macrocystis pyrifera). Int J Biol Macromol 44:365–371CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Guiry MD, Guiry GM (2015) AlgaeBase, world-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland. Galway, Galway Google Scholar
  19. Hahn T, Kelly S, Muffier K, Tippkötter N, Ulber R (2011) Extraction of lignocellulose and algae for the production of bulk and fine chemicals. In: Bart H-J, Pilz S (eds) Industrial scale natural products extraction, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., pp 221–245Google Scholar
  20. Hahn T, Lang S, Ulber R, Muffler K (2012) Novel procedures for the extraction of fucoidan from brown algae. Process Biochem 47:1691–1698CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Haug A, Larsen B (1962) Quantitative determination of the uronic acid composition of alginates. Acta Chem Scand 16:1908–1918CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hernández-Carmona G, McHugh DJ, Arvizu-Higuera DL, Rodríguez-Montesinos YE (1998) Pilot plant scale extraction of alginate from Macrocystis pyrifera. 1. Effect of pre-extraction treatments on yield and quality of alginate. J Appl Phycol 10:507–513CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hifney AF, Fawzy MA, Abdel-Gawad KM, Gomaa M (2016) Industrial optimization of fucoidan extraction from Sargassum sp. and its potential antioxidant and emulsifying activities. Food Hydrocoll 54:77–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Huang D, Ou B, Hampsch-Woodill M, Flanagan JA, Prior RL (2002) High-throughput assay of oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) using a multichannel liquid handling system coupled with a microplate fluorescence reader in 96-well format. J Agr Food Chem 50:4437–4444CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Imbs TI, Skriptsova AV, Zvyagintseva TN (2015) Antioxidant activity of fucose-containing sulfated polysaccharides obtained from Fucus evanescens by different extraction methods. J Appl Phycol 27:545–553CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Iwao T, Kurashima A, Maegawa M (2008) Effect of seasonal changes in the photosynthates mannitol and laminaran on maturation of Ecklonia cava (Phaeophyceae, Laminariales) in Nishiki Bay, Central Japan. Phycol Res 56:1–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kerswell AP (2006) Global biodiversity patterns of benthic marine algae. Ecology 87:2479–2488CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Lee BW (2010) Cultivated seaweed and seaweed industry development in Australia. Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  29. Lee KY, Mooney DJ (2012) Alginate: properties and biomedical applications. Prog Polym Sci 37:106–126CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  30. Li B, Lu F, Wei XJ, Zhao RX (2008) Fucoidan: structure and bioactivity. Molecules 13:1671–1695CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Loo MGK, Tanner JE, Clarke SM (2011) Feasability study for integrated multitrophic aquaculture in South Australia. Literature review for seaweed aquaculture, focussing on offshore farming, SARDI. Adelaide, AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  32. Lorbeer AJ, Lahnstein J, Bulone V, Nguyen T, Zhang W (2015a) Multiple-response optimization of the acidic treatment of the brown alga Ecklonia radiata for the sequential extraction of fucoidan and alginate. Bioresource Technol 197:302–309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Lorbeer AJ, Lahnstein J, Fincher GB, Su P, Zhang W (2015b) Kinetics of conventional and microwave-assisted fucoidan extractions from the brown alga, Ecklonia radiata. J Appl Phycol 27:2079–2087CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lorbeer AJ, Tham R, Zhang W (2013) Potential products from the highly diverse and endemic macroalgae of Southern Australia and pathways for their sustainable production. J Appl Phycol 25:717–732CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Macaya EC, Zuccarello GC (2010) DNA barcoding and genetic divergence in the giant kelp Macrocystis (Laminariales). J Phycol 46:736–742CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. McHugh D (2003) A guide to the seaweed industry. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, RomeGoogle Scholar
  37. McHugh DJ (1987) Production, properties and uses of alginates. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, RomeGoogle Scholar
  38. McHugh DJ, Hernández-Carmona G, Arvizu-Higuera DL, Rodríguez-Montesinos YE (2001) Pilot plant scale extraction of alginates from Macrocystis pyrifera 3. Precipitation, bleaching and conversion of calcium alginate to alginic acid. J Appl Phycol 13:471–479CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. McKee J, Kavalieris L, Brasch D, Brown M, Melton L (1992) Alginate content and composition of Macrocystis pyrifera from New Zealand. J Appl Phycol 4:357–369CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Morya VK, Kim J, Kim EK (2012) Algal fucoidan: structural and size-dependent bioactivities and their perspectives. Appl Microbiol Biot 93:71–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Ou B, Huang D, Hampsch-Woodill M, Flanagan JA, Deemer EK (2002) Analysis ofantioxidant activities of common vegetables employing oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assays: a comparative study. J Agr Food Chem 50:3122–3128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Phillips JA (2001) Marine macroalgal biodiversity hotspots: why is there high species richness and endemism in southern Australian marine benthic flora? Biodivers Conserv 10:1555–1577CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Ponce N, Pujol CA, Damonte EB, Flores ML, Stortz CA (2003) Fucoidans from the brown seaweed Adenocystis utricularis: extraction methods, antiviral activity and structural studies. Carbohyd Res 338:153–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Rodriguez-Jasso RM, Mussatto SI, Pastrana L, Aguilar CN, Teixeira JA (2011) Microwave-assisted extraction of sulfated polysaccharides (fucoidan) from brown seaweed. Carbohyd Polym 86:1137–1144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Seeram NP, Henning SM, Niu Y, Lee R, Scheuller HS, Heber D (2006) Catechin and caffeine content of green tea dietary supplements and correlation with antioxidant capacity. J Agr Food Chem 54:1599–1603CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Silva T, Alves L, De Queiroz K, Santos M, Marques C, Chavante S, Rocha H, Leite E (2005) Partial characterization and anticoagulant activity of a heterofucan from the brown seaweed Padina gymnospora. Braz J Med Biol Res 38:523–533CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Stewart C, Higgins H, Austin S (1961) Seasonal variation in alginic acid, mannitol, laminarin and fucoidin in the brown alga, Ecklonia radiata. Nature 192:1208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Winberg PC, Fitton HJ, Stringer D, Karpiniec SS, Gardiner V (2014) Controlling seaweed biology, physiology and metabolic traits in production for commercially relevant bioactives in glycobiology. In: Bourgougnon N (ed) Advances in botanical research, Vol. 71. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp. 221–252Google Scholar
  49. Yuan Y, Macquarrie D (2015) Microwave assisted extraction of sulfated polysaccharides (fucoidan) from Ascophyllum nodosum and its antioxidant activity. Carbohyd Polym 129:101–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew J. Lorbeer
    • 1
    • 2
  • Suvimol Charoensiddhi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jelle Lahnstein
    • 3
  • Claire Lars
    • 1
    • 2
  • Christopher M.M. Franco
    • 1
    • 2
  • Vincent Bulone
    • 3
  • Wei Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Centre for Marine Bioproducts Development, School of MedicineFlinders UniversityBedford ParkAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Medical Biotechnology, School of MedicineFlinders UniversityBedford ParkAustralia
  3. 3.ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls, School of Agriculture, Food and WineUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

Personalised recommendations