Extraction of Valuable Biomolecules from the Microalga Haematococcus pluvialis Assisted by Electrotechnologies

Molecules. 2023 Feb 23;28(5):2089. doi: 10.3390/molecules28052089.


The freshwater microalga Haematococcus pluvialis is well known as the cell factory for natural astaxanthin, which composes up to 4-7% of its total dry weight. The bioaccumulation of astaxanthin in H. pluvialis cysts seems to be a very complex process that depends on different stress conditions during its cultivation. The red cysts of H. pluvialis develop thick and rigid cell walls under stress growing conditions. Thus, the biomolecule extraction requires general cell disruption technologies to reach a high recovery rate. This short review provides an analysis of the different steps in H. pluvialis's up and downstream processing including cultivation and harvesting of biomass, cell disruption, extraction and purification techniques. Useful information on the structure of H. pluvialis's cells, biomolecular composition and properties and the bioactivity of astaxanthin is collected. Special emphasis is given to the recent progress in application of different electrotechnologies during the growth stages and for assistance of the recovery of different biomolecules from H. pluvialis.

Keywords: Haematococcus pluvialis; astaxanthin; biomolecular composition; electrotreatment; extraction; microalga.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomass
  • Chlorophyceae*
  • Microalgae*
  • Xanthophylls


  • astaxanthine
  • Xanthophylls

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.