Industrial production of Omega3 and carotenoids by microalgae cultivation

Starting date
March 1, 2017
Duration (months)
Managers or local contacts
Ballottari Matteo

Omega-3 and carotenoids are high value products with several applications and use at industrial level. These compounds indeed can be used as food additives to improve health or as nutraceutical. In addition, carotenoids can be also used for aquaculture or as natural pigments. Omega-3 and carotenoids are produced by microalgae cultures. Microalgae are photosynthetic organisms that are able to convert CO2 and sunlight into organic biomass. These organisms have peculiar metabolisms allowing them to produce high levels of compounds as lipids (with omega-3 as fatty acids in some conditions) or carotenoids as astaxanthin, the natural compound with the highest antioxidant activity. Microalgae cultivation however still needs to be improved at industrial scale in order to reduce costs and improve productivity. The solving of these cultivation problems will allow the use of microalgae also for the production of biofuels as biodiesels. The present project aims to improve the production of omega-3 and carotenoids in cultures of the marine algae Nannochloropsis gaditana by combining biotechnological manipulation of this species with an efficiency cultivation system developed by the Partner company ALGAE-TECH IP BV.


Funds: assigned and managed by the department

Project participants

Matteo Ballottari
Associate Professor


Research facilities