Non-conventional approaches to food processing in CELSS. I-algal proteins; characterization and process optimization
Protein isolate obtained from green algae (Scenedesmus obliquus) cultivated under controlled conditions was characterized. Molecular weight determination of fractionated algal proteins using SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis revealed a wide spectrum of molecular weights ranging from 15,000 to 220,000. Isoelectric points of dissociated proteins were in the range of 3.95 to 6.20. Amino acid composition of protein isolate compared favorably with FAO standards. High content of essential amino acids leucine, valine, phenylalanine and lysine makes algal protein isolate a high quality component of CELSS diets. To optimize the removal of algal lipids and pigments supercritical carbon dioxide extraction (with and without ethanol as a co-solvent) was used. Addition of ethanol to supercritical CO2 resulted in more efficient removal of algal lipids and produced protein isolate with a good yield and protein recovery. The protein isolate extracted by the above mixture had an improved water solubility.