Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids which are necessary for human health obtained only through diet. The three types of omega-3 fatty acids are involved in human physiology are alpha linolenic acid found in plant oils (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid, and docosahexaenoic acid (EPA; DHA) both are commonly found in biological sources of marine origin. Marine algae and phytoplankton are primary sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Among the microalgae, Nannochloropsis have been identified for the high EPA content. It is very important to reduce the economic value of the range of products, fuel to pharma from the high lipid productivity strains. In the present study, we explore a simple screening method for oleaginous strains and optimization of several culture parameters such as media, temperature, and nitrate concentrations. 0.9% EPA was achieved from N.gaditana cultivated in laboratory conditions. This study verified that further optimization of culture conditions in photobioreactor systems would yield maximum omega 3 fatty acids in commercialization aspects.
Key words: Nannochloropsis gaditana, optimization, omega 3 fatty acids, EPA.