Author(s): de la Noue J, de Pauw N
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Abstract An overview of the various aspects, promises and limitations of microalgal biotechnology is presented. The factors of importance in microalgal cultivation as well as the culture systems are briefly described. Microalgal biomasses can fulfil the nutritional requirements of aquatic larvae and organisms. The biochemical composition of algae can be improved by the manipulation of culture conditions. The nutritive value of the microalgal biomasses for human and animal consumption is also commented upon as well as some socio-economical aspects. Among the sources of required nutrients (N, P), wastewaters and manures can upgraded as culture media for microalgae the safety of which has to be evaluated. Harvesting of the biomass is one of the bottlenecks. The various techniques, physical, physico-chemical and biological are outlined and their feasibility and economic interest examined. Microalgal biomasses can be submitted to various technological transformations. Various processes are reviewed in the light of their effects on safety and nutritional value. The possible extraction of fine chemicals and the preparation of protein concentrates is also reported on. The various uses of microalgae lead to a possible competition, to be evaluated, between systems for the production of food, energy and chemicals. The review finally covers the application of genetic manipulation to microalgae.
This article was published in Biotechnol Adv
and referenced in Clinical Microbiology: Open Access