Microalgae have been attracting attention as feedstock for biorefinery because they have various advantages, such as carbon fixation, high growth rate and high energy yield. The bioactive compounds and lutein contained in microalgae are known to be beneficial for human health, especially eye and brain health. In this study, in order to improve the recovery of bioactive extracts including lutein from Tetraselmis suecica with higher efficiency, an effective solvent was selected, and the extraction parameters such as temperature, time and solid loading were optimized by response surface methodology. The most effective solvent for lutein recovery was identified as 100% methanol, and the optimum condition was determined (42.4 °C, 4.0 h and 125 g/L biomass loading) by calculation of the multiple regression model. The maximum content of recovered lutein was found to be 2.79 mg/mL, and the ABTS radical scavenging activity (IC50) and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) value were about 3.36 mg/mL and 561.9 μmol/L, respectively. Finally, the maximum lutein recovery from T. suecica through statistical optimization was estimated to be 22.3 mg/g biomass, which was 3.1-fold improved compared to the control group.
Keywords: Tetraselmis suecica; antioxidant; lutein; optimization; response surface methodology.