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Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia

Print version ISSN 0102-695X


MARTINS, Aline P.; YOKOYA, Nair S.  and  COLEPICOLO, Pio. Comparison of extraction and transesterification methods on the determination of the fatty acid contents of three Brazilian seaweed species. Rev. bras. farmacogn. [online]. 2012, vol.22, n.4, pp.854-860.  Epub June 21, 2012. ISSN 0102-695X.

Seaweeds are photosynthetic organisms important to their ecosystem and constitute a source of compounds with several different applications in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and biotechnology industries, such as triacylglycerols, which can be converted to fatty acid methyl esters that make up biodiesel, an alternative source of fuel applied in economic important areas. This study evaluates the fatty acid profiles and concentrations of three Brazilian seaweed species, Hypnea musciformis (Wulfen) J.V. Lamouroux (Rhodophya), Sargassum cymosum C. Agardh (Heterokontophyta), and Ulva lactuca L. (Chlorophyta), comparing three extraction methods (Bligh & Dyer - B&D; AOAC Official Methods - AOM; and extraction with methanol and ultrasound - EMU) and two transesterification methods (7% BF3 in methanol - BF3; and 5% HCl in methanol - HCl). The fatty acid contents of the three species of seaweeds were significantly different when extracted and transesterified by the different methods. Moreover, the best method for one species was not the same for the other species. The best extraction and transesterification methods for H. musciformis, S. cymosum and U. lactuca were, respectively, AOM-HCl, B&D-BF3 and B&D-BF3/B&D-HCl. These results point to a matrix effect and the method used for the analysis of the fatty acid content of different organisms should be selected carefully.

Keywords : seaweeds; fatty acids; extraction and transesterification methods.

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