Azza Silotry Naik is an assistant lecturer at TUDublin, Ireland. She was awarded the STSM and carried out her research on the topic ‘To investigate the chemical stability of microalgal proteins to be used as functional ingredients’ at Dr. Mahesha Poojary’s lab at the Department of Food Science at University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Her study entailed extraction of the proteins from tough cell wall containing microalgae (Chlorella vulgaris), which is an exciting challenge faced by many researchers. Enzyme coupled microwave assisted extraction (Biotage Initiator+) method was used for cell-disruption to achieve enhanced protein extraction efficiency. The effect of the planned treatments on total amino acid composition of the protein extract was investigated using UHPLC-FLD analysis (Thermoscientific Ultimate 3000). Preliminary results showed viscozyme-microwave treated samples showed higher protein content when compared to other treatments. The protein rich microalgal extracts can be used in future to screen for bioactivities and develop functional ingredients targeting the plant-based protein market.
The study enabled optimising processing conditions for obtaining marine/algal protein rich extracts that will be utilized in future for ingredient development, thereby promoting blue biotechnology sector. Value addition to microalgal extracts also resonates with UN’s sustainable development goals and reflects with the objectives of the WG3 of the Ocean4Biotech action focussed on establishing the use case scenarios (from source to sink) for specific marine biotechnology market: cosmetics and biomaterials.
- Biotage microwave extractor 2. Differentially extracted microalgal protein extracts
3. TCA precipitated protein pellet 4. 24h acid hydrolysis of protein to amino acids
5. UHPLC-FLD amino acid analysis 6. Photo with Dr. Mahesha Poojary