Chitosan (Shrimp) is a highly researched polysaccharide. It is essential nowadays because of its nontoxicity, various uses in food, medicines, and agriculture, and remarkable biological features, such as biodegradability and antibacterial capabilities.

This blog explains the process of cost-effective Chitosan shrimp, highlighting chitin extraction, followed by alkaline deacetylation using a solid alkaline solution for varied periods. FTIR spectroscopy, thermal stability analysis, morphological investigation, crystallography, elemental analysis, and the degree of deacetylation helped characterize the different chitosans. 

What is Chitosan?

Chitosan is a sugar derived from the outer skeleton of shellfish, such as crab, lobster, and shrimp, and prevalent in medical and pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Chitosan is a fibrous material that may limit the fat and cholesterol the body absorbs from the diet. It also aids in blood clotting when administered to wounds.

People use chitosan to treat high BP, cholesterol, obesity, wound healing, and other conditions. However, there is no scientific evidence to back many of these claims.

How To Prepare Chitosan Extracted From Shrimp 

Preparing prawn Chitosan (shrimp) is a rigorous yet gratifying procedure. Begin by gathering prawn shells, ideally from seafood processing plants, to assure freshness and quality. Clean the shells well to eliminate contaminants, then dry them to minimize moisture content. Next, use a grinder or mill to finely powder the shells.

Once pulverized, deproteinize the prawn shell material by processing it with a robust alkaline solution, such as sodium hydroxide. This phase eliminates proteins and other organic materials, leaving just chitin. An acidic treatment, often hydrochloric acid, is used to deacetylate the chitin and create chitosan. The pH levels must be carefully monitored during these chemical procedures to ensure purity and efficacy.

After the chemical treatments, carefully wash the chitosan to remove any leftover contaminants and return the pH to neutral. Finally, dry the chitosan extract to get a fine, white powder suitable for various applications.

This meticulously produced Chitosan (shrimp) extract has various advantageous features, including biodegradability and biocompatibility, making it a popular element in sectors ranging from medicine to agriculture and beyond. Chitosan shrimp derived from its shells is a tribute to sustainable ingenuity and resourcefulness, given its environmentally benign nature and wide range of applications.

Methods of Extraction

Method 1

Method 1 involves gently soaking 3 grams of shrimp shell powder in 2 N NaOH at 70˚C for 4 hours to deproteinize it. Witness the alchemy as contaminants disappear, leaving a pure canvas. The voyage continues with demineralization, in which 10% HCl tenderly eliminates mineral deposits, preparing for a spectacular finish. Behold the pinnacle of deacetylation accuracy, as 35% NaOH carves chitosan from its chitin cocoon like a sculptor’s chisel. The outcome is Cs1, a monument to accuracy and purity, ready to work its magic in various applications.

Method 2

Begin with demineralization, gently rubbing 3 grams of prawn shell powder with 4% HCl to unveil the shell’s hidden treasures. Then, see the orchestration of deproteinisation at 90˚C with 5% NaOH. Proteins succumb to the heat, leaving behind a symphony of purity. The voyage concludes in deacetylation with 70% NaOH, which yields chitosan, a marvel of synthesis and sophistication. This symphony yields Cs2, a monument to the beauty of nature’s bounty and human inventiveness.

Method 3

Method 3 of extracting Chitosan (shrimp) involves refining. Observe the deproteinisation process at 70˚C with 5% NaOH. Use 1% HCl to demineralize the water, allowing contaminants to dissolve and revealing the essence of cleanliness. Finally, at 100˚C, N-deacetylation with 55% NaOH produces refined and exquisite chitosan, yielding  Cs3, ready to grace the industry with purity and potency.

Method 4

Start with 1 N NaOH for demineralization while the shell’s secrets are revealed. Then, watch the exquisite dance of deproteinization with 1 M NaOH as proteins succumb to the alkaline embrace. Accept the change of decolorization with pure acetone as contaminants fade into the ether. Finally, observe the grand finale of deacetylation with 50% NaOH, which yields chitosan, a sign of development and complexity. From this graceful progression emerges Cs4, poised to revolutionize industries with its purity and potency.

Characterization of Prepared Chitosan

Using FT-IR, chemists can discover functional groups in chitosan samples. X-ray diffractometry (XRD) is used to determine the product’s crystallinity; thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) is used to investigate thermal stability; and elemental analysis is used to assess the degree of deacetylation. Finally, a scanning electron microscope will illustrate the product’s morphology.

The characterization of prepared Chitosan shrimp includes its numerous characteristics and uses. Chitosan, generated from the deacetylation of chitin, has a distinct chemical structure made up of repeated glucosamine and N-acetylglucosamine units. This composition makes it biocompatible, biodegradable, and non-toxic, making it an exciting biomaterial for various biomedical and environmental applications.

Physicochemically, chitosan demonstrates extraordinary adaptability. The degree of deacetylation (DDA) affects its solubility, mechanical strength, and charge density. Chitosan has low solubility in water because of its amino groups, although improvements such as grafting or crosslinking can enhance its solubility and stability, broadening its range of uses. Furthermore, chitosan’s molecular weight significantly influences its mechanical and barrier capabilities, with greater molecular weights often resulting in enhanced mechanical strength and barrier performance.

Prepared chitosan is exceptionally versatile in terms of usefulness. Its cationic character allows exchanges with anionic species, making it an efficient adsorbent for heavy metals and dyes in wastewater treatment. Its film-forming ability is also suitable for biological applications. Moreover, chitosan’s antibacterial abilities make it an attractive choice for food preservation and agricultural use.

Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and scanning electron microscopy are standard characterization techniques used to examine chitosan’s structural, chemical, and morphological features. These methods give information on its composition, crystallinity, surface shape, and interactions with other substances, revealing its potential in various sectors.