Seca, A.M.L., Gouveia, V.L.M., Barreto, M.C., Silva, A.M.S. & Pinto, D.C.G.A. (2018) Comparative study by GC-MS and chemometrics on the chemical and nutritional profile of Fucus spiralis L. juvenile and mature life-cycle phases.Journal of Applied Phycology, Online early, . DOI:10.1007/s10811-018-1447-9 (IF2017 2.401; Q1 Marine & Freshwater Biology)
Fucus spiralis L. is an edible brown macroalga with a wide distribution range. It is very rich in fiber, phlorotannins, and sterols, which are associated with its nutritional value, and exhibits significant pharmacological properties, presenting not only antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities but also cardioprotective, anti-obesity, and antidiabetic effects. Nevertheless, the chemical profiles of F. spiralis life-cycle phases have not been explored. Therefore, the main goal of this research was to assess the F. spiralis chemical composition in juvenile and mature phases by GC-MS analysis, and to identify the differences and/or similarities using the principal component analysis (PCA) tool. The GC-MS profiles of each life-cycle phase hexane fraction as well as important data to improve the use of F. spiralis are disclosed. In both phases, alkanes, fatty acids, alditols, sterols, monoacylglycerides, and δ-tocopherol were identified, although the content of each compound and/or class of compounds is life-cycle phase dependent. For example, desmosterol and stearic acid are produced exclusively in the juvenile phase and the sterol content in the juvenile phase is lower than in mature phase, while the juvenile phase produces a greater variety of fatty acids. Moreover, the alkanes content is lower in juvenile phase while the most abundant alkane is produced exclusively in mature phase. Simultaneously, PCA allowed the differentiation between the life-cycle phases and the identification of the compounds that contribute to this distinction. Our study confirms F. spiralis as a source of phytochemicals with recognized health benefits so its dietary use is recommended. But, its life-cycle phase should be considered before the collection.