In this study, productions of microalgal proteins were explored via a circular economy concept. First, production of proteins from Chlorella vulgaris FSP-E (CV) and Chlorella sorokiniana (CS) was optimized by using favorable cultivation conditions and strategies. The optimal CO2 concentration for the growth of both microalgae was 5% (v/v), while the optimal nitrogen source for CV and CS were 12 mM of NaNO3 and NH4Cl, respectively. Addition of 12 mg/L ammonium iron (III) citrate enhanced protein production. Next, semi-batch cultivation strategy was employed to achieve a protein production of 793.3 and 812.8 mg/L for CV and C S, representing a 4.86 and 2.77 fold increase, respectively, in protein productivity. The obtained microalgal proteins consist of 40% essential amino acids. The CV and CS proteins possess prebiotic activities as they enhanced the growth of Lactobacillus rhamnosus ZY by 48 and 74%, respectively, with a good antibacterial activity against predominant pathogens.
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