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Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 31, Issue 5, pp 3163–3173 | Cite as

Brazilian native species of Gracilaria (Gracilariales, Rhodophyta) as a source of valuable compounds and as nutritional supplements

  • Priscila TorresEmail author
  • Alice Nagai
  • Dárlio Inácio Alves Teixeira
  • Eliane Marinho-Soriano
  • Fungyi Chow
  • Deborah Y. A. C. dos Santos
Article

Abstract

In Brazil species of Gracilaria play a social and economic role in some poor communities of the northeastern coast. Considering that these algae are typically consumed after depigmentation and drying, little is known about the chemical composition and nutritional value after processing. In the present study dried and depigmented samples of Gracilaria birdiae (GB), Gracilaria caudata (GC), Gracilaria domingensis (GD), and a commercially available sample of G. birdiae (C-GB), provided by a local community, were studied as a source of valuable compounds and as nutritional supplements. In nutritional terms, the dietary fiber and mineral contents of the studied algae were higher than those of the traditional foods in the standard Brazilian diet. The results suggest that these algae have functional properties and consequently may be used as a source of nutraceutical. GB and GC showed a high antioxidant potential, similar to that of some staple foods (e.g., cereals and legumes), but lower than that of rich-antioxidant foods (e.g., berries and nuts). The polysaccharides from both G. birdiae samples (GB and C-GB) showed a low sulfation degree and higher yields, suggesting that they are a good source of agar. GB was also rich in mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs), mainly porphyra-334. In contrast, C-GB contained the lowest values of MAAs and antioxidants. The reduction in these compounds may compromise the use of C-GB for other purposes such as cosmetic production. However, the sample of C-GB showed the highest potential as a source of dietary fiber and agar. In general, the analyzed species are alternatives to traditional foods and a source of valuable compounds.

Keywords

Antioxidant Gracilaria Mycosporine-like amino acids Proximate composition Polysaccharides 

Notes

Funding information

The authors thank CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico) (140073/2013-2) and FAPESP (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo) (2013/07543-0 and 2013/50731-1) for financial support. FC thanks CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico) for the productivity fellowship (303937/2015-7).

Supplementary material

10811_2019_1804_MOESM1_ESM.docx (39 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 39 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Botany, Institute of BiosciencesUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Agricultural School of JundiaíFederal University of Rio Grande do NorteMacaíbaBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Oceanography and LimnologyFederal University of Rio Grande do NorteNatalBrazil

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