A highly efficient, rapid, green and safe procedure for the preparation of free all-trans-astaxanthin from Haematococcus pluvialis algal extract, by a crude extracellular enzyme extract, was reported. The free all-trans-astaxanthin obtained by the biocatalysed method had fewer side products compared to the saponification procedure. Through single-factor experiments and a Box-Behnken design, it was possible to find the optimal biocatalytic conditions for the hydrolysis of 2 mg of H. pluvialis oil with 14.7 mg (protein content) of lyophilised crude extracellular enzyme extract obtained from Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The reaction was carried out in 30 min at pH 9.16 and 36 degrees C, in 5.5 mL total reaction volume, under nitrogen atmosphere and dark conditions. The hydrolysis ratio of the astaxanthin esters was 98.72%, and the production of free all-trans-astaxanthin was 82.83 mu g per mg of H. pluvialis oil. The method herein reported was simpler than other enzymatic methods previously described and allowed saving of time and costs.