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Fucoxanthin is a bioactive compound found in one of the most prolific and sustainable organisms on the planet, alga. Its efficacy and potential in terms of health applications have been widely reported in clinical studies. Technical modifications, such as encapsulation, and sensory trials must be undertaken before fucoxanthin can be successfully utilised as a functional food ingredient. Factors to consider include solubility in the food matrix, organoleptic effects, stability, preservation against oxidation, consumer acceptability, bioavailability, and toxicity risk. Possible solutions may include the development of more efficient and greener extraction technologies, which require shorter extraction times and less solvent, and have a more specific and higher extraction yield. The sustainability of potential seaweed cultivars must be assessed before large-scale harvesting, to ensure the preservation of this precious marine resource.
Abu-Ghannam, N. and Shannon, E. (2017) Seaweed Carotenoid, Fucoxanthin, as Functional Food, in Microbial Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals (eds V. K. Gupta, H. Treichel, V. (O). Shapaval, L. Antonio de Oliveira and M. G. Tuohy), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781119048961.ch3