Pressurized liquids as an alternative process to antioxidant carotenoids' extraction from Haematococcus pluvialis microalgae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In this work, extraction of antioxidant carotenoids from Haematococcus pluvialis microalga, has been studied combining pressurized liquid extraction (PLE), using hexane and ethanol as extracting solvents, and analytical techniques such as thin layer chromatography (TLC) and HPLC with DAD. The effect of the extraction temperature (50, 100, 150 and 200 °C) and the polarity of the solvent have been studied in terms of in vitro antioxidant activity and chemical composition considering two different morphological cells (green vegetative cells and red cysts). Results demonstrate that the extraction temperature had a positive influence in the extraction yield while its effect in the antioxidant activity was negative, lowering the activity of the extracts with an increase of the extraction temperature. The best yields were obtained with ethanol at the higher extraction temperature while the best antioxidant activity was also achieved using ethanol but at lower temperatures. Chemical composition was determined by TLC and HPLC with DAD. Several compounds were identified in the samples and concentration of astaxanthin was obtained. Results pointed out that the extracts contained different carotenoids in both, the green and the red phase, and that depending on its contribution a stronger antioxidant activity would be expected.


  • Laura Jaime
  • Irene Rodríguez-Meizoso
  • Alejandro Cifuentes
  • Susana Santoyo
  • Sonia Suarez
  • Elena Ibáñez
  • Francisco Javier Señorans
External organisations
  • Complutense University of Madrid
  • CSIC Instituto de Fermentaciones Industriales (IFI)
  • University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Research areas and keywords


  • Antioxidant activity, Carotenoids, Chemical characterization, Haematococcus pluvialis, Pressurized liquid extraction
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-112
Number of pages8
JournalLWT - Food Science and Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jan
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes