Biotechnological Production of Carotenoids by Aquatic Microorganisms

Population growth, higher expectations for a long and healthy life, and climate change are currently major drivers for the development and production of health-promoting, sustainable, and climate-friendly substances. A particular focus is on the food and pharmaceutical sectors, as these directly impact human health. This progress led to an increase in demand for additives improving the properties of food and feed. In this context, carotenoids play an important role. They comprise a group of natural pigments, which are used to color food and feed. The biotechnological production enables a sustainable supply of natural carotenoids, but there is still room for improvements in manufacturing processes. The aim of this work was to support the further development of the biotechnological production of carotenoids by optimizing methods and processes and by searching for new, promising production organisms:

1. The development of a method for the determination of astaxanthin from Haematococcus pluvialis helped to find a good compromise between simple and fast but also accurate measurement procedures.
2. The application of the developed method in the optimization of the downstream process of astaxanthin from H. pluvialis aimed to maximize astaxanthin yield while minimizing process costs and energy consumption.
3. The screening of a Thraustochytriaceae strain collection indicated that some strains are potentially suitable for a sustainable production of carotenoids.

The gained comprehensive understanding is essential to improve the necessary production of carotenoids through optimized synthesis and processing, to enable targeted and economical use, and thus to make a lasting contribution to public health and climate protection.

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