Polar Lipids of Commercial Ulva spp. of Different Origins: Profiling and Relevance for Seaweed Valorization


Macroalgae of the genus Ulva have long been used as human food. Local environmental conditions, among other factors, can have an impact on their nutrient and phytochemical composition, as well as on the value of the seaweed for food and non-food applications. This study is the first to initiate a comparison between commercial Ulva spp. from different European origins, France (FR, wild-harvested Ulva spp.), and Portugal (PT, farm-raised Ulva rigida), in terms of proximate composition, esterified fatty acids (FA), and polar lipids. The ash content was higher in PT samples, while FR samples had higher levels of proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates and other compounds. The profile of esterified FA, as well as FA-containing polar lipids at the class and species levels were also significantly different. The FR samples showed about three-fold higher amount of n-3 polyunsaturated FA, while PT samples showed two-fold higher content of monounsaturated FA. Quantification of glycolipids and phospholipids revealed, respectively, two-fold and three-fold higher levels in PT samples. Despite the differences found, the polar lipids identified in both batches included some lipid species with recognized bioactivity, valuing Ulva biomass with functional properties, increasing their added value, and promoting new applications, namely in nutraceutical and food markets.



subject category

Food Science & Technology


Moreira, ASP; da Costa, E; Melo, T; Lopes, D; Pais, ACS; Santos, SAO; Pitarma, B; Mendes, M; Abreu, MH; Collen, PN; Domingues, P; Domingues, MR

our authors


This study was financed by Project GENIALG, from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 727892. This output reflects only the author's view, and the European Union cannot be held responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein. The authors are also grateful to FCT/MCTES (Portugal) for the financial support, to CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials (UIDB/50011/2020+UIDP/50011/2020), QOPNA (UID/QUI/00062/2019), LAQV-REQUIMTE (UIDB/50006/2020), CESAM (UIDB/50017/2020+UIDP/50017/2020), and RNEM (LISBOA-01-0145-FEDER-402-022125), through national funds, and the co-funding by the FEDER, within the PT2020 Partnership Agreement and Compete 2020. Ana Moreira (BPD/UI51/5041/2017) and Elisabete da Costa (BPD/UI51/5042/2018) are also grateful for the grants within the framework of Project GENIALG. This work was also supported by project OMICS4ALGAE (POCI-01-0145-FEDER-030962), funded by FEDER, through COMPETE2020Programa Operacional Competitividade e Internacionalizacao (POCI), and by national funds (OE), through FCT/MCTES. This work is a contribution of the Marine Lipidomics Laboratory.

Share this project:

Related Publications

We use cookies for marketing activities and to offer you a better experience. By clicking “Accept Cookies” you agree with our cookie policy. Read about how we use cookies by clicking "Privacy and Cookie Policy".