Optimization of R-Phycoerythrin Extraction by Ultrasound-Assisted Enzymatic Hydrolysis: A Comprehensive Study on the Wet Seaweed Grateloupia turuturu

Mar Drugs. 2023 Mar 28;21(4):213. doi: 10.3390/md21040213.


Enzyme-assisted extraction (EAE) and ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) are both recognized as sustainable processes, but little has been done on the combined process known as ultrasound-assisted enzymatic hydrolysis (UAEH), and even less on seaweed. The present study aimed to optimize the UAEH of the red seaweed Grateloupia turuturu for the extraction of R-phycoerythrin (R-PE) directly from the wet biomass by applying a response surface methodology based on a central composite design. Three parameters were studied: the power of ultrasound, the temperature and the flow rate in the experimental system. Data analysis demonstrated that only the temperature had a significant and negative effect on the R-PE extraction yield. Under the optimized conditions, the R-PE kinetic yield reached a plateau between 90 and 210 min, with a yield of 4.28 ± 0.09 mg·g-1 dry weight (dw) at 180 min, corresponding to a yield 2.3 times higher than with the conventional phosphate buffer extraction on freeze-dried G. turuturu. Furthermore, the increased release of R-PE, carbohydrates, carbon and nitrogen can be associated with the degradation of G. turuturu constitutive polysaccharides, as their average molecular weights had been divided by 2.2 in 210 min. Our results thus demonstrated that an optimized UAEH is an efficient method to extract R-PE from wet G. turuturu without the need for expensive pre-treatment steps found in the conventional extraction. UAEH represents a promising and sustainable approach that should be investigated on biomasses where the recovery of added-value compounds needs to be improved.

PMID:37103353 | DOI:10.3390/md21040213


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