Antimicrobial and Antioxidant Potential of Scenedesmus obliquus Microalgae in the Context of Integral Biorefinery Concept
Small-scale photobioreactors (PBRs) in the inoculum stage were designed with internal (red or green) and external white LED light as an initial step of a larger-scale installation aimed at fulfilling the integral biorefinery concept for maximum utilization of microalgal biomass in a multifunctional laboratory. The specific growth rate of Scenedesmus obliquus (Turpin) Kützing biomass for given cultural conditions was analyzed by using MAPLE software. For the determination of total polyphenols, flavonoids, chlorophyll “a” and “b”, carotenoids and lipids, UHPLC-HRMS, ISO-20776/1, ISO-10993-5 and CUPRAC tests were carried out. Under red light growing, a higher content of polyphenols was found, while the green light favoured the flavonoid accumulation in the biomass. Chlorophylls, carotenoids and lipids were in the same order of magnitude in both samples. The dichloromethane extracts obtained from the biomass of each PBR synergistically potentiated at low concentrations (0.01–0.05 mg/mL) the antibacterial activity of penicillin, fluoroquinolones or oregano essential oil against the selected food-borne pathogens (Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium) without showing any in vitro cytotoxicity. Both extracts exhibited good cupric ion-reducing antioxidant capacity at concentrations above 0.042–0.08 mg/mL. The UHPLC-HRMS analysis revealed that both extracts contained long chain fatty acids and carotenoids thus explaining their antibacterial and antioxidant potential. The applied engineering approach showed a great potential to modify microalgae metabolism for the synthesis of target compounds by S. obliquus with capacity for the development of health-promoting nutraceuticals for poultry farming.