Characterization of alginates from Ghanaian brown seaweeds: Sargassum spp. and Padina spp

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Alginates of four locally harvested Ghanaian brown seaweeds from the Sargassum and Padina genus were assessed for their rheological and chemical characteristics. The seaweeds contained 16–30% by weight of alginate assessed as the sum of d-mannuronic acid (M) and l-guluronic acid (G). In comparison, alginate samples from Laminaria digitata and Macrocystis pyrifera, used commercially for alginate extraction, contained 29% and 27% by weight of the two constituent uronic acids (M + G), respectively. Alginate extraction yields of the Ghanaian seaweeds ranged from 17 to 23% by weight of dry material; the corresponding yields from L. digitata and M. pyrifera were 26–29% by weight; these yields were equivalent to ∼49–99% of the theoretical yields, but the purity of the extracted alginates varied, and were lowest for the Ghanaian seaweed alginates. 1H NMR analysis of the uronic acid block-structure in the alginates gave M/G ratios of 0.47 and 0.70 for the alginates extracted from Sargassum natans and Sargassum vulgare, while alginates from Padina gymnospora and Padina antillarum had M/G ratios of 1.75 and 1.85, respectively. The alginates from the two Ghanaian Sargassum spp. had high contents of dimeric and trimeric homoguluronate elements: FGG and FGGG values were 0.61 and 0.58 for S. natans and 0.49 and 0.44 for S. vulgare. The alginates from the two Padina spp. had gel strengths estimated as G′ surpassing those from the commercial alginates with G′ values after 4 h of rheological oscillation of 340 Pa (P. gymnospora) and 376 Pa (P. antillarum), whereas the gelling properties of the Sargassum spp. alginates were poor. The degree of polymerization of the acid tolerant alginate backbone fragments, but not M/G ratio or homoguluronate dimer and trimer element contents, appeared to correlate to the alginate gel strength. The study shows that notably Ghanaian Padina spp. hold alginate having desirable properties for high gel-strength applications.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFood Hydrocolloids
Pages (from-to)236-244
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Sargassum
  • Padina
  • Sodium alginate
  • Rheology
  • M/G ratio
  • Block-structure


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