Pretreatment and saccharification of red macroalgae to produce fermentable sugars

Eun Ju Yun, Hee Taek Kim, Kyung Mun Cho, Sora Yu, Sooah Kim, In Geol Choi, Kyoung Heon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)


Red macroalgae are currently considered as renewable resources owing to their high carbohydrate and low lignin and hemicellulose contents. However, utilization of red macroalgae has been limited owing to the lack of established methods for pretreatment and an effective saccharification system. Furthermore, marine red macroalgae consist of the non-favorable mixed sugars for industrial microorganisms. In this review, we suggest strategies for converting red macroalgae to bio-based products, focusing on the pretreatment and saccharification of red macroalgae to produce fermentable sugars and the microbial fermentation of these sugars by industrial microorganisms. In particular, some recent breakthroughs for the efficient utilization of red macroalgae include the discovery of key enzymes for the complete monomerization of red macroalgal carbohydrate and the catabolic pathway of 3,6-anhydro-L-galactose, the most abundant sugar in red macroalgae. This review provides a comprehensive perspective for the efficient utilization of red macroalgae as sustainable resources to produce bio-based products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-318
Number of pages8
JournalBioresource technology
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Roesijadi, G., Jones, S.B., Snowden-Swan, L.J., Zhu, Y., 2010. Macroalgae as a biomass feedstock: a preliminary analysis. U.S. Department of Energy under Contract DE-AC05-76RL01830 by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Fishery Commercialization Technology Development Program of the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (2012100788). This research was performed at the Korea University Food Safety Hall for the Institute of Biomedical Science and Food Safety.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Agar
  • Carrageenan
  • Pretreatment
  • Red macroalgae
  • Saccharification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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