The marine environment is highly interesting as it can both increase the global production of biomass and supply an innovative resource, rich in bioactive compounds. Biomass from seaweeds (brown algae) can be used in both food and non-food applications.
Pretreatment of the biomass is an essential step to improve accessibility and solubility of the biomass components. We have used brown algae from the species Laminaria digitata and Saccharina latissima and fractionated carbohydrate components for further utilization.
Areas of interest include both enzymatic and microbial conversions of the polysaccharides. Oligosaccharides from macroalgae have for example shown interesting prebiotic effects, and examples on enzymatic conversion will be given.
In addition, brown algae can serve as carbon source for growth of bacteria. We have cultivated the marine thermophile Rhodothermus marinus on extracts from L. digitata. R. marinus is a thermophilic aerobe that produces exopolysaccharides (EPS) and glycosylated carotenoids. The composition of the EPS and structure of the carotenoids will be shown.
This work is done in the framework of the Era-nets MBT (Thermofactories project) and SusFood2 (ProSeaFood project) and the Horizon2020, BBI project Macro cascade.