Mangaluru, Apr 25: The Laboratory of Applied Biology at St Aloysius College believes in implementing research on a social level. Keeping this in mind, the researchers of the LAB have always worked on socially relevant projects, in the hope of one day, contributing to the socio-economic welfare of Mangaluru.
One such project is the 'Bioprospecting of local algae as protein and lipid sources' carried out by the senior research associate, Sulakshana Karkala. Under the guidance of Dr Leo D’Souza and Dr Shashi Kiran, Sulakshana has identified over 40 local algal species.
Algal powder and algal tablets developed by Laboratory of Applied Biology
(L-R) seated : Dr Shashi Kiran, research co-ordinator; Dr Leo D’Souza, director; Sulakshana, research associate; Sachin Patavardhan, research associate.
(L-R) standing: Jain James, JRF; Jerome Baretto, technical assistant; Sudheeksha Kiran, JRF
She has obtained and analyzed the algal biomass for nutritional applications. Her research has identified two species which have the potential as health supplements. Algae are known for their health benefits. They are rich sources of antioxidants, proteins, vitamins, minerals and trace metals. They contain high amounts of simple and complex carbohydrates which provide the body with a source of additional fuel. Algae, being abundant and nutritionally diverse, might present a cost effective and efficient method to improve our country’s nutrition status. Microalgal algal enriched food are vegan alternatives to traditional animal derived supplements such as cod liver oil. Through her studies, Sulakshana has developed three algal based products. They are algal powders, algal tablets and algal oil. All three products can be consumed either directly or with addition to food.