The fatty acid (FA) compositions of ten seaweeds representative of Chlorophyta, Rhodophyta, and Ochrophyta from Kuwait in the Arabian Gulf region were determined and are discussed in the context of their potential nutritional perspectives for seaweed valorization. All the seaweeds had higher saturated fatty acid (SFA) and lower monounsaturated (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) contents than those typical of tropical environments. Palmitic, myristic, stearic, oleic, linoleic, α-linolenic, and stearidonic acids were the major FAs detected. Arachidonic, eicosapentaenoic, and docosahexaenoic acids were detected in minor amounts. Conserved fatty acid patterns revealed phylogenetic relationships among phyla, classes, and orders matching the molecular phylogenies at higher taxonomic ranks. Hierarchical clustering analyses clearly segregated different seaweeds (except Codium papillatum and Iyengaria stellata) into distinct groups based on their FA signatures. All but one species (Chondria sp.) had health-beneficial n6/n3 PUFAs (0.33:1–2.94:1) and atherogenic (0.80–2.52) and thrombogenic indices (0.61–5.17). However, low PUFA/SFA contents in most of the species (except Ulva spp.) may limit their utilization in the formulation of PUFA-rich functional foods. Ulva spp. had substantially high PUFAs with PUFA/SFA > 0.4, n6/n3 (0.33–0.66) and atherogenic (0.80–1.15) and thrombogenic indices (0.49–0.72), providing substantial potential for their utilization in food and feed applications.
Bibliographical noteFunding: We are grateful to the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) for PhD funding for H.A.-A. We are thankful to the National Unit for Environmental Research and Services (NUERS) at Kuwait University, Project # SRUIL01/13 and the Department of Marine Sciences for providing their facilities and labs. We equally thank the UK Natural Environment Research Council for their support to F.C.K. (program Oceans 2025–WP 4.5 and grants NE/D521522/1 and NE/J023094/1). This work also received support from the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland pooling initiative. MASTS is funded by the Scottish Funding Council (grant reference HR09011) and contributing institutions. PK would like to acknowledge European Union’s Horizon 2020
research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 839151
- Arabian Gulf
- fatty acids
- gas chromatography
- n6/n3 ratio