Lutein biosynthesis from microalgae — Recent advances and circular economy

Yoong Kit Leong, Jo Shu Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Lutein, one of the primary xanthophylls, has garnered much attention due to its numerous bioactivities, including antioxidant, eye protection as well as amelioration or prevention of diseases with a huge range of applications in feed and food, nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, and cosmeceutical industries. As a lutein producer, microalgae demonstrated immense potential as an alternative to marigold flower, the commercial source of lutein production due to numerous advantages, including a fast growth rate, no seasonal harvesting limitation, and higher lutein content and productivity. Circular economy of lutein production from microalgae can be achieved via resource recovery of abundant and low-cost byproducts or waste streams. Microalgal lutein biosynthesis is influenced by operation parameters, including temperature, light quality, salinity, and culture medium composition. Among different operation strategies, innovative two-stage cultivation approaches have been developed to maximize lutein yield from microalgae. Such strategies include a combination of different modes of nutrition (photoautotrophic, heterotrophic, mixotrophic), integration with fed-batch and/or semi-continuous cultivation mode, as well as thermal- or light-shifting operations. Furthermore, the discussion on pilot-scale studies of microalgae cultivation has been provided to give insights and bridge the gap between laboratory-scale studies and commercial-scale operations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103097
JournalEnvironmental Technology and Innovation
Publication statusPublished - 2023 May

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Environmental Science
  • Soil Science
  • Plant Science


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