Chitin/Chitosan has chemical structures very
similar to that of cellulose. such as cotton
ami rayon. (Fig. 1)
2. Chitin is the natural
polysaccharide biologically produced by living
creatures on the earth in huge quantities.
Its production is next to the cellulose, which
is biologically produced by plant. It is estimated
that total production of Chitin on the earth
annually is about i to 100 billion ton.
Chitin/Chitosan is white and porous polysaccharide
that forms a base for the hard shell of crustaceans
like crabs, lobsters and squids. It is also
found in (1) insects like dragonflies. grasshoppers
and beetles. (2) rnushrooms like shiitake
and enokidake and (3) cell wall of fungi.
3. It is also estimated
that about 150 thousand ton of Chitin is available
for commercial use annually. However. only
a few thousand ton is actually used in the
So long as Chitin is a natural substance included
in the food such as crab, shrimp, mushroorn
etc, it is quite a safe material. Its safety
has been verified scientifically through many
tests. With the following properties in mind,
its applications are widely spread.