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Abstract

PROSPECTS OF SEAWEEDS AS SOURCES OF BIOACTIVE PHYTOCHEMICALS: A SEARCH ALONG COASTAL BELTS OF KERALA

Sumayya S.S., Bosco Lawarence, Manoj G.S. and Murugan K.*

ABSTRACT

Seaweeds are macroalgae adapted to inhabit marine ecosystem. They are sources of phytochemicals and reveal immense functional food applications. 10,000 species of algae have been reported across the world and their production is estimated to 6-7 million tones, of which nearly 90% comes from Asia-Pacific region. High diversity and growth of many species of seaweeds occur along the South east coast of Tamil nadu, Gujarat, Lakshadweep and Andaman-Nicobar Islands. 844 species of marine algae comprising Chlorophyta (216), Phaeophyta (191), Rhodophyta (434) and Xanthophyta (3) are reported from Indian coastal belt. They yield nutraceuticals, cosmetics, feed, pharmaceuticals, phycocolloids, fertilizer and biofuels. Sea weed derived compounds are an ample source of nutritionally and pharmaceutically active agents. The proven examples are Gracilaria, Gelidiella, Gelidium and Pterocladia, Kappaphycus, Hypnea, Gigartina, Chondrus, Sargassum, Hormophysa, Laminaria, Turbinaria, Undaria, Cystoseria Macrocystis, Enteromorpha linza, Enteromorpha prolifera, Ulva, Caulerpa, Sargassum, Hypnea musciformis and Acanthophora.. Functional ingredients derived from these algae can help fill the requirement for bioactive to treat chronic diseases like cancer, multiresistant microbial infections, inflammatory events and weight management risks. Future need included algae/seaweed industry comprising species selection, mass-production via photobioreactor productivity and yields, harvesting, and downstream processing.

Keywords: Sea weeds, functional food, nutrients, phytochemical, pharmaceutical,


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