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Physicochemical characterization of chitin and chitosan from crab shells

Yen, Ming-Tsung, Yang, Joan-Hwa, Mau, Jeng-Leun
Carbohydrate polymers 2009 v.75 no.1 pp. 15-21
chemical composition, proteins, X-ray diffraction, chitosan, assays, scanning electron microscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, color, molecular weight, chemical structure, chitin
Crab chitosan was prepared by alkaline N-deacetylation of crab chitin for 60, 90 and 120 min and the yields were 30.0-32.2% with that of chitosan C120 being the highest. The degree of N-deacetylation of chitosans (83.3-93.3%) increased but the average molecular weight (483-526 kDa) decreased with the prolonged reaction time. Crab chitosans showed lower lightness and WI values than purified chitin, chitosans CC and CS but higher than crude chitin. With the prolonged reaction time, the nitrogen (8.9-9.5%), carbon (42.2-45.2%) and hydrogen contents (7.9-8.6%) in chitosans prepared consistently increased whereas N/C ratios remained the same (0.21). Crab chitosans prepared showed a melting endothermic peak at 152.3-159.2 °C. Three chitosans showed similar microfibrillar crystalline structure and two crystalline reflections at 2θ = 8.8-9.0° and 18.9-19.1°. Overall, the characteristics of three crab chitosans were unique and differed from those of chitosan CC and CS as evidenced by the element analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction patterns.