Amalia Project


AMALIA members presented first biotech results in Greece

The 10th European Conference on Marine Natural Products was hosted this year between the 3rd and 7th of September at the island of Crete (Kolymbari, Crete, Greece). The scope of the Conference is to stimulate the younger generation of European scientist in the ever-expanding fields of marine natural products chemistry and biology.

AMALIA junior researchers Joana Silva and Celso Alves and senior team member Rui Pedrosa attended this event and presented the work: Invasive seaweeds Asparagopsis armata and Sargassum muticum bioactivities for cost-effective and sustainable industrial uses (Cátia S.E. Silva, Joana Silva, Susete Pintéus, Ana Augusto, Celso Alves, Nélson Amaral, Sara Novais, Susana J. Silva, Rui Pedrosa and Marco F.L. Lemos)

“Invasive seaweeds have been causing paramount economic and ecological problems. Since it is known that some seaweeds may be important sources of bioactive compounds with potential industrial uses, this problem may turn out to be an excellent opportunity. Strategies for the valorization of invasive seaweeds can provide the industry with high added value compounds, transforming its harvesting from the ocean in an effective management practice to sustain good environmental status, or even to restore impacted areas.

In this study, the potential industrial application of two invasive species from the Iberian northwest coast was investigated. To target invasive species cost-effective and sustainable valorization, Asparagopsis armata and Sargassum muticum were collected in Peniche and Viana do Castelo (Portugal), respectively. Samples were dried overnight at 25ºC and serial ethanol extractions (100, 75, 50, 25, and 0%) were prepared, evaporated under reduced pressure, and tested for antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, and antitumoral activities.

Results show that both seaweed ethanol extracts revealed high performance activity for the conditions and targets tested, with high extraction yields obtained by green extraction techniques from a low-valued resource, reducing costs, and contributing with safer extracts for a myriad of applications such as novel food ingredients, added value feeds, new cosmetics, and possible targets for therapeutic agents for the biomedical industry.”