Natural Carotenoid Pigments of 6 Chlorophyta Freshwater Green Algae Species


  • Rashidi Othman International Islamic University Malaysia, 53100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Nur Hidayah Noh International Islamic University Malaysia, 53100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Farah Ayuni Mohd Hatta International Islamic University Malaysia, 53100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Mohd Aizat Jamaludin International Islamic University Malaysia, 53100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia



Active pharmaceutical ingredients, natural colorants, carotenoid, freshwater green microalgae, lutein, β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin


Nowadays, halal products are gaining wider recognition as a new benchmark for safety and quality assurance. As a consequence the commercial development of microalgae is established due to their high value chemicals, for examples, β-carotene, astaxanthin, phycobilin pigments and algal extracts for cosmaceutical products. Therefore, many researchers have gained interest to study the potential of microalgae as new valuable chemicals and other product sources. The aim of the research is to explore new sources of pigments to be used as halal food colorants. This quest is not only directed in finding natural alternatives for synthetic dyes, but also to discover new taxons for the carotenoid production. Thus, there is a solid need to investigate the potential of natural pigments, particularly carotenoids in microalgae to be fully utilised and commercialised especially in halal market, health advantages, food products and dye technology. A total of 6 species was evaluated for quantitative and qualitative carotenoid composition, namely, Chlorella fusca, Chlorella vulgaris, Selenastrum capricornutum, Pandorina morum, Botryococcus sudeticus and Chlorococcum sp. The main carotenoids identified in all species through HPLC analysis were lutein, β-cryptoxanthin and β-carotene. The ratio of these carotenoids varies between species. Lutein was detected substantially higher in Chlorella fusca(69.54±11.29 μg/g DW);β-cryptoxanthin in Pandorina morum species (1.24±0.33 μg/g DW) whereas β-carotene in Chlorella vulgaris (18.42±9.2 ug/g DW). The significant outcome of the research will be new findings of new natural carotenoid pigment sources as potential food colorants and bioactive compounds which can be beneficial to halal health promoting products industry.


Zalina Z, Ahmad, HB. Some assessments on the adequacy of regulatory and supervisory framework. Proceeding of the International Seminar on Halal Food and Products: Challenges and Prospects in the Global Market; Marriott Putrajaya, Malaysia 2004; Sept 28-29.

Dicosmo F, Misawa, M. Plant cell and tissue culture: alternatives for metabolite production. Biotechnol Adv 1995; 13(3): 425-53.

Schoefs B. Determination of pigments in vegetables. Journal of Chromatography A 2004; 1054(1-2): 217-226.

Christaki E, Bonos E, Florou-Paneri, P. Innovative microalgae pigments as a functional ingredients in nutrition. In: Handbook of marine microalgae. Biotehnology Advances. Academic Press 2015; p. 233-243.

Koller M, Muhr A, Braunegg, G. Microalgae as versatile cellular factories for valued products. Algal Res 2014; 6: 52-63.

Plaza M, Cifuentes A, Ibanez, E. In the search of new functional food ingredients from algae. Trends Food Sci Technol 2008; 19(1): 31-39.

Zaho X, Xue CH, Li ZJ, Cai YP, Liu HY, Qi, HT. Antioxidant and hepatoprotective activities of low molecular weight sulfated polysaccharide from Laminaria japonica. J Appl Phycol 2004; 16: 111-115.

Hajimahmoodi M, Faramarzi MA, Mohammadi N, Soltani N, Oveisi MR, Nafissi-Varcheh, N. Evaluation of antioxidant properties and total phenolic contents of some strains of microalgae. J Appl Phycol 2009; 22: 43-50.

Plaza M, Herrero M, Cifuentes A, Ibanez, E. Innovative natural functional ingredients from microalgae. J Agric Food Chem 2009; 5: 7159-7170.

Goh SH, Yusoff FM, Loh, SPA. A comparison of the antioxidant properties and total phenolic content in a diatom Chaetoceros sp. and a green microalga, Nannochloropsis sp. J Agric Sci 2010; 2: 123-130.

Goiris K, Muylaert K, Fraeye I, Foubert I, De Brabanter J, De Cooman, L. Antioxidant potential of microalgae in relation to their phenolic and carotenoid content. J Appl Phycol 2012; 24(6): 1477-1486.

Borowitzka MA, Borowitzka LJ, Kessly, D. Effects of salinity increase on carotenoid accumulation in the green alga Dunaliella salina. J Appl Phycol 1990; 2: 111-119.

Rodrigues DB, Flores EMM, Barin JS, Mercadante AZ, Jacob-Lopes E, Zepka, LQ. Production of carotenoids from microalgae cultivated using agroindustrial wastes. Food Res Int 2014; 65: 144-148.

Othman R. Biochemistry and genetics of carotenoid composition in potato tubers. Ph.D. Dissertation. Lincoln University, New Zealand 2009.

Wellburn AR. The spectral determination of chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b, as well as total carotenoids, using various solvents with spectrophotometers of different resolution. J Plant Physiol 1994; 144: 307-313.

Nwachukwu ID, Udenigwe CC, Aluko, RE. Lutein and zeaxanthin: production technology, bioavailability, mechanisms of action, visual function, and health claim status. Trends Food Sci Technol 2016; 49: 74-84.

Chen G, Zhu Y-Y, Cao Y, Liu J, Shi W, Liu Z, Chen, Y. Association of dietary consumption and serum levels of vitamin A and ?-carotene with bone mineral density in Chinese adults. Bone 2015; 79: 110-115.

Csepanyi E, Czompa A, Haines D, Lekli I, Bakondi E, Balla G, Bak I. Cardiovascular effects of low versus high-dose beta-carotene in a rat model. Pharmacol Res 2015; 100: 148-156.

Cilla A, Attanzio A, Barbera R, Tesoriere L, Livrea, MA. Anti-proliferative effect of main dietary phytosterols and ?-cryptoxanthin alone or combined in human colon cancer Caco-2 cells through cytosolic Ca+2 - and oxidative stress-induced apoptosis. J Funct Foods 2015; 12: 282-293.




How to Cite

Rashidi Othman, Nur Hidayah Noh, Farah Ayuni Mohd Hatta, & Mohd Aizat Jamaludin. (2018). Natural Carotenoid Pigments of 6 Chlorophyta Freshwater Green Algae Species. Journal of Pharmacy and Nutrition Sciences, 8(1), 1–5.