Recent Advances in Microalgal Bioactives for Food, Feed, and Healthcare Products: Commercial Potential, Market Space, and Sustainability

M U, N.; Mehar, J.G.; Mudliar, S.N.; Shekh, A.Y.

Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety 18(6): 1882-1897


ISSN/ISBN: 1541-4337
PMID: 33336956
DOI: 10.1111/1541-4337.12500
Accession: 070963416

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To combat food scarcity as well as to ensure nutritional food supply for sustainable living of increasing population, microalgae are considered as innovative sources for adequate nutrition. Currently, the dried biomass, various carotenoids, phycocyanin, phycoerythrin, omega fatty acids, and enzymes are being used as food additives, food coloring agents, and food supplements. Apart from nutritional importance, microalgae are finding the place in the market as "functional foods." When compared to the total market size of food and feed products derived from all the possible sources, the market portfolio of microalgae-based products is still smaller, but increasing steadily. On the other hand, the genetic modification of microalgae for enhanced production of commercially important metabolites holds a great potential. However, the success of commercial application of genetically modified (GM) algae will be defined by their safety to human health and environment. In view of this, the present study attempts to highlight the industrially important microalgal metabolites, their production, and application in food, feed, nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals, and cosmeceuticals. The current and future market trends for microalgal products have been thoroughly discussed. Importantly, the safety pertaining to microalgae cultivation and consumption, and regulatory issues for GM microalgae have also been covered.