Current Pharmaceutical Design, 2020, 26, 1929-1950
With the increase in the global population, getting new sources of food is essential. One of the solutions can be found in the oceans due to algae. Microalgae are aquatic photosynthetic organisms used mainly due to their variety of bioactive compounds. The consumption of microalgae has been carried out for centuries and is recommended by organizations, such as OMS and FAO, due to its nutritional value and its properties. Based on the existing literature, there is substantial evidence of the nutritional quality of the algae as well as their functional elements. However, much quantification is still necessary, as well as studying possible adverse effects. The present review describes the compounds of alimentary interest present in these algae as well as different extraction techniques assisted by different energetic mechanisms (such as heat, supercritical-fluid, microwave, ultrasound, enzymes, electric field, high hydrostatic pressure, among others). The most challenging and crucial issues are reducing microalgae growth cost and optimizing extraction techniques. This review aimed a better understanding of the uses of microalgae for new researches in nutrition. Since the use of microalgae is still a field in which there is much to discover, it is likely that more benefits will be found in its consumption.