Chitosan Technology from Crustacean Shells of the Northern Seas


Technological schemes for the production of chitin and chitosan from the crustaceans of the Barents Sea have been developed. We used shells of king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus) and snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio) as chitin-containing raw materials, which are waste from the processing of crabs and contain 5.5 and 4.9 wt.% chitin, respectively. Technological schemes are developed taking into account the chemical composition of the used raw materials containing a large amount of residual protein (up to 26 wt.% in the king crab shell) and mineral substances (up to 17 wt.% in the snow crab shell). A chemical method for chitin production has been used. The technological scheme includes the stages of the first deproteinization, demineralization, the second deproteinization and depigmentation of the raw materials using chemical reagents - acids, alkalis, etc. The deacetylation reaction in an alkaline medium was used as the main method for chitosan production from chitin. Technological solutions have been found to significantly reduce the consumption of alkali, to form a circuit of alkaline solutions. This leads to the reduction of pollution of wastewater generated during the production of chitin and chitosan. The resulting polysaccharide chitosan has a degree of deacetylation of 80–85%. Such a product is considered as a valuable ingredient for high-quality functional foods.

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