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CSIR-IICT scientists discover microalgae as a potential protein supplement

Microalgae are “underexploited crops” that do not compete with traditional food crops for space and resources.  Images are for representational purposes only.

Microalgae are “underexploited crops” that do not compete with traditional food crops for space and resources. Images are for representational purposes only. | Image source: Reuters

Scientists at CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) have focused on the potential of Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF), a protein-rich extract from the microalga ‘Chlorella sorokiniana’ substances that serve as ideal ingredients for a variety of food and feed applications.

Microalgae are “underexploited crops” that do not compete with traditional food crops for space and resources. Latest research by renowned scientists S. Venkata Mohan and M. Hemalatha shows that CGF, with its rich amino acid content and excellent protein quality, is a promising alternative protein source that can make a significant contribution to human and animal diets.

Scientists at the institute’s Bioengineering and Environmental Sciences Laboratory claim its beneficial properties go beyond basic nutrition and can promote overall health, immunity and well-being. Therefore, CGF can be a valuable supplement to increase dietary intake and support sustainable food and feed production systems.

It is said that this unique substance only exists in the nucleus of “Chlorella” and is produced during photosynthesis. It is rich in a variety of beneficial ingredients, including peptides, amino acids, nucleotides, polysaccharides, glycoproteins, and vitamins. and minerals.

The researchers first isolated ‘Chlorella sorokiniana’ in the laboratory and cultured it using a specially formulated nutrient mixture designed to increase its biomass and protein content. CGF is extracted from harvested biomass using a non-chemical autolysis process to maintain the integrity of amino acids and other valuable components.

CGF is particularly rich in essential amino acids that are critical to human and vertebrate health but cannot be synthesized by the human body. They explained that the amino acid profile of CGF even exceeds that of commercial soybean meal, as evidenced by indicators such as protein efficiency ratio (PER), essential amino acid index (EAAI) and biological value (BV).

Addition of CGF to poultry diets has been shown to improve egg quality, indicating its potential as a high-quality protein supplement in animal nutrition. The scientists added that this study highlights the importance of microalgae culture methods to maximize the yield and quality of protein-rich extracts, providing a sustainable solution to meet the growing global demand for high-quality protein sources. need.

The findings of this study, Amino Acid-Rich Biomass Culture: Effect of Nutritional Patterns on Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF) Production, have been published in the latest issue of the journal Algae Research.

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