Supercritical CO2 extraction increases the recovery levels of omega-3 fatty acids in Tetraselmis chuii extracts

Food Chem. 2024 Sep 30:453:139692. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2024.139692. Epub 2024 May 16.


Tetraselmis chuii is a microalgae marketed as ingredient meeting the acceptance criteria for novel foods established by the European Union and can be an important source of healthy fatty acids (FA). The aim of this research was to characterize the FA profile of T. chuii fractions obtained by supercritical carbon dioxide (SCCO2) extraction operating with two sequential co-solvents and to evaluate the effect of biomass pretreatment (freeze/thaw cycles followed by ultrasounds). T. chuii biomass was confirmed to be an important source of omega-3 FA, mainly due to the abundance of α-linolenic acid, and pre-treatment significantly improved the lipid yield. Other omega-3 FA, such as 16:3, 16:4, 18:4, 18:5, 20:3 and 20:5, were also detected in different proportions. When SCCO2 extraction of pretreated and un-pretreated T. chuii was compared with conventional solvent extraction, the nutritional quality indices of the extracts were improved by the use of SCCO2.

Keywords: Atherogenicity index; Hypocholesterolemic/hypercholesterolemic ratio; Lipids; Microalgae; Thrombogenicity index; n-6/n-3 ratio.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Carbon Dioxide* / chemistry
  • Chlorophyta / chemistry
  • Chlorophyta / metabolism
  • Chromatography, Supercritical Fluid* / methods
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3* / analysis
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3* / chemistry
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3* / isolation & purification
  • Microalgae / chemistry
  • Microalgae / metabolism
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Plant Extracts