Algae as nutritional and functional food sources: revisiting our understanding

Mark L. Wells, Philippe Potin, James S. Craigie, John A. Raven, Sabeeha S. Merchant, Katherine E. Helliwell, Alison G. Smith, Mary Ellen Camire, Susan H. Brawley (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Global demand for macroalgal and microalgal foods is growing, and algae are increasingly being consumed for functional benefits beyond the traditional considerations of nutrition and health. There is substantial evidence for the health benefits of algal-derived food products, but there remain considerable challenges in quantifying these benefits, as well as possible adverse effects. First, there is a limited understanding of nutritional composition across algal species, geographical regions, and seasons, all of which can substantially affect their dietary value. The second issue is quantifying which fractions of algal foods are bioavailable to humans, and which factors influence how food constituents are released, ranging from food preparation through genetic differentiation in the gut microbiome. Third is understanding how algal nutritional and functional constituents interact in human metabolism. Superimposed considerations are the effects of harvesting, storage, and food processing techniques that can dramatically influence the potential nutritive value of algal-derived foods. We highlight this rapidly advancing area of algal science with a particular focus on the key research required to assess better the health benefits of an alga or algal product. There are rich opportunities for phycologists in this emerging field, requiring exciting new experimental and collaborative approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)949-982
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of Applied Phycology
Volume29
Issue number2
Early online date21 Nov 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017

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algae
functional foods
nutritive value
alga
food preparation
food
food processing
foods
digestive system
adverse effects
nutrition
genetic variation
metabolism
health and nutrition
geographical region
genetic differentiation
methodology

Keywords

  • Journal article
  • Algal foods
  • Antioxidants
  • Arsenosugars
  • xperimental design
  • Microalgal supplements
  • Nutritional minerals
  • Omega-3-fatty acids
  • Polysaccharides
  • Sea vegetables
  • Vitamins

Cite this

Wells, M. L., Potin, P., Craigie, J. S., Raven, J. A., Merchant, S. S., Helliwell, K. E., ... Brawley, S. H. (2017). Algae as nutritional and functional food sources: revisiting our understanding. Journal of Applied Phycology, 29(2), 949-982. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10811-016-0974-5
Wells, Mark L. ; Potin, Philippe ; Craigie, James S. ; Raven, John A. ; Merchant, Sabeeha S. ; Helliwell, Katherine E. ; Smith, Alison G. ; Camire, Mary Ellen ; Brawley, Susan H. / Algae as nutritional and functional food sources : revisiting our understanding. In: Journal of Applied Phycology. 2017 ; Vol. 29, No. 2. pp. 949-982.
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abstract = "Global demand for macroalgal and microalgal foods is growing, and algae are increasingly being consumed for functional benefits beyond the traditional considerations of nutrition and health. There is substantial evidence for the health benefits of algal-derived food products, but there remain considerable challenges in quantifying these benefits, as well as possible adverse effects. First, there is a limited understanding of nutritional composition across algal species, geographical regions, and seasons, all of which can substantially affect their dietary value. The second issue is quantifying which fractions of algal foods are bioavailable to humans, and which factors influence how food constituents are released, ranging from food preparation through genetic differentiation in the gut microbiome. Third is understanding how algal nutritional and functional constituents interact in human metabolism. Superimposed considerations are the effects of harvesting, storage, and food processing techniques that can dramatically influence the potential nutritive value of algal-derived foods. We highlight this rapidly advancing area of algal science with a particular focus on the key research required to assess better the health benefits of an alga or algal product. There are rich opportunities for phycologists in this emerging field, requiring exciting new experimental and collaborative approaches.",
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Wells, ML, Potin, P, Craigie, JS, Raven, JA, Merchant, SS, Helliwell, KE, Smith, AG, Camire, ME & Brawley, SH 2017, 'Algae as nutritional and functional food sources: revisiting our understanding', Journal of Applied Phycology, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 949-982. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10811-016-0974-5

Algae as nutritional and functional food sources : revisiting our understanding. / Wells, Mark L.; Potin, Philippe; Craigie, James S.; Raven, John A.; Merchant, Sabeeha S.; Helliwell, Katherine E.; Smith, Alison G.; Camire, Mary Ellen; Brawley, Susan H. (Lead / Corresponding author).

In: Journal of Applied Phycology, Vol. 29, No. 2, 04.2017, p. 949-982.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Algae as nutritional and functional food sources

T2 - revisiting our understanding

AU - Wells, Mark L.

AU - Potin, Philippe

AU - Craigie, James S.

AU - Raven, John A.

AU - Merchant, Sabeeha S.

AU - Helliwell, Katherine E.

AU - Smith, Alison G.

AU - Camire, Mary Ellen

AU - Brawley, Susan H.

N1 - AGS & KEH thank the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC BB/1013164/1) of the UK for funding. The University of Dundee is a registered Scottish charity, No. SC015096. PP is supported by IDEALG in the frame of the stimuli program entitled “Investissements d’avenir, Biotechnologies-Bioressources” (ANR-10-BTBR-04-02). The open access fee was supported by NSF-OCE-1435021 (MLW), DIC project 1823-06 (MEC), Maine Sea Grant (NOAA) 5405971 (SHB), NSF #11A-1355457 to Maine EPSCoR at the University of Maine (SHB), and the listed funding to AGS and PP.

PY - 2017/4

Y1 - 2017/4

N2 - Global demand for macroalgal and microalgal foods is growing, and algae are increasingly being consumed for functional benefits beyond the traditional considerations of nutrition and health. There is substantial evidence for the health benefits of algal-derived food products, but there remain considerable challenges in quantifying these benefits, as well as possible adverse effects. First, there is a limited understanding of nutritional composition across algal species, geographical regions, and seasons, all of which can substantially affect their dietary value. The second issue is quantifying which fractions of algal foods are bioavailable to humans, and which factors influence how food constituents are released, ranging from food preparation through genetic differentiation in the gut microbiome. Third is understanding how algal nutritional and functional constituents interact in human metabolism. Superimposed considerations are the effects of harvesting, storage, and food processing techniques that can dramatically influence the potential nutritive value of algal-derived foods. We highlight this rapidly advancing area of algal science with a particular focus on the key research required to assess better the health benefits of an alga or algal product. There are rich opportunities for phycologists in this emerging field, requiring exciting new experimental and collaborative approaches.

AB - Global demand for macroalgal and microalgal foods is growing, and algae are increasingly being consumed for functional benefits beyond the traditional considerations of nutrition and health. There is substantial evidence for the health benefits of algal-derived food products, but there remain considerable challenges in quantifying these benefits, as well as possible adverse effects. First, there is a limited understanding of nutritional composition across algal species, geographical regions, and seasons, all of which can substantially affect their dietary value. The second issue is quantifying which fractions of algal foods are bioavailable to humans, and which factors influence how food constituents are released, ranging from food preparation through genetic differentiation in the gut microbiome. Third is understanding how algal nutritional and functional constituents interact in human metabolism. Superimposed considerations are the effects of harvesting, storage, and food processing techniques that can dramatically influence the potential nutritive value of algal-derived foods. We highlight this rapidly advancing area of algal science with a particular focus on the key research required to assess better the health benefits of an alga or algal product. There are rich opportunities for phycologists in this emerging field, requiring exciting new experimental and collaborative approaches.

KW - Journal article

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KW - Nutritional minerals

KW - Omega-3-fatty acids

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KW - Vitamins

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Wells ML, Potin P, Craigie JS, Raven JA, Merchant SS, Helliwell KE et al. Algae as nutritional and functional food sources: revisiting our understanding. Journal of Applied Phycology. 2017 Apr;29(2):949-982. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10811-016-0974-5