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Published: Kem. Ind. 72 (1-2) (2023) 103–112
Paper reference number: KUI-39/2022
Paper type: Professional paper
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Biopolimers Chitin and Chitosan – Properties and Preparation

D. Skendrović, L. Terihaj, T. Rezić and A. Vrsalović Presečki


With the growing awareness of environmental protection, we are increasingly turning to natural energy sources and natural materials. Of great importance in this regard are biopolymers, which are completely degradable in nature. Among the most important biopolymers are chitin and chitosan, which are second only to cellulose. Large amounts of chitin and chitosan are found in the biosphere as important components of the exoskeleton of many organisms, and as waste from global fishing companies. Therefore, policymakers, environmentalists, and industry are promoting the use of these marine polysaccharides as renewable sources. This paper describes the physicochemical and biological properties, and the different methods used to extract chitin and chitosan mainly from marine wastes. Chitin can be obtained by chemical and biological extraction, and this paper compares these two methods with emphasis on enzymatic deproteinisation, bacterial fermentation, and enzymatic deacetylation. Due to their biodegradability, non-toxicity, biocompatibility, and bioactivity, these marine polymers are widely used in the modern production of biomedical and pharmaceutical products.

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chitin, chitosan, biodegradability, biomaterials, polysaccharides, green technology, waste, marine resources