Chitin is a naturally occurring material separated from the shells of Shrimp, Crab, Squid etc. The shell of shell fishes, which is a waste material generated during processing of shell fishes, is processed using acid & alkali for separation of chitin - an organic compound found in the shells. The chitin, which is a raw material for different products, is further processed in different ways , depending on the application. In India, the technology for separation of Chitin from the crustacean shell was developed by Central Institute Fisheries Technology.
Matsyafed established a Chitin & Chitosan Factory at Kollam in 1988 for the separation of chitin from crustacean shell. It has an installed capacity for producing 50 MT of Chitin in a year. There is a huge seasonal demand for chitin as various other products such as Chitosan, Glucosamine etc are derived form chitin.
IN Matsyafed factory, Chitin is packed in powdered form(25 Kg/bag )or as flakes (15 Kg/bag) in polyethylene bags.
Chitosan is obtained by processing & refining chitin and sun dried. Chemically it is an aminopolysaccharide. Chitosan was first produced in France during 1859 by Prof. Rouget. But commercial production of this product began only by 1970s. In India commercial production of chitin started for the first time by Matsyafed during 1988-89. Chitosan is an internationally acclaimed natural health care product for cholesterol, obesity and related health problems.
Chitin and chitosan find its use in a variety of areas:
`CHITONE' CAPSULES - AN ANTI-FAT FORMULA
Matsyafed has taken a step further to commercially produce Chitosan Capsules which is marketed in the Brand Name of "Chitone" , as a nutraceutical The exoskeleton of all crustaceans like prawn, crab, lobsters and insects are made up of Chitin. The cell wall of moulds, yeast and fungi are also made up of Chitin. Chitin is one of the most abundant natural polymers. It is composed of N-acetyl D- glucosamine as monomers. Chitin is extracted from the exoskeleton of commercially available wastes of prawn and crab shells for the manufacture of Chitosan and Glucosamine. The Chitin manufacture includes two processes. The first process is called de-mineralization. This is done by treating the exoskeletons with acid. By this process the minerals (carbonates and phosphates) that helps to harden the exoskeleton is totally removed and the shell become very soft material. The next process is called de-proteinisation. This is done by treating the de-mineralized exoskeleton with low density alkali solutions for removing the protein contents present in the exoskeleton. After these two processes, pure Chitin is obtained.
Chitosan is an amino polymer extracted from the Chitin by a process called de-acetylation. During de-acetylation process a molecular rearrangement of Chitin takes place and the acetyl group is removed. Thus we get an unsaturated molecule of Chitosan. This Chitosan has a positive ionic structure with strong chelating property. The chelating nature of Chitosan is utilized in using Chitosan as an anti- fat formula all over the world. Removal of acetyl group results in unstable amino polysaccharide molecules (chitosan) with strong positive polarity. It is the amino group that imparts positive polarity to the chitosan molecules. On the contrary the fat /lipid molecules have similar long bead like structure are highly negatively charged molecules.
When Chitosan is ingested with a glass of water 20-25 minutes before the meals, within the digestive system Chitosan dissolves and forms a positively charged gel. Subsequently on consumption of food, the chitosan gel gets mixed up with the food inside the stomach. The negatively charged molecules of fat/lipids and bile salts attach strongly to the chitosan sites where ever the acetyl groups are removed. The electrolytic bonding causes the formation large polymer-lipid compound (fat ball) that neither can be broken down( digested) by the digestive enzymes nor it can be absorbed through the intestinal walls as these molecules are not permeable through the intestinal wall. Eventually the polymer is excreted as waste from the digestive system carrying away the attached fats and other potential fat producing substances.
Chitosan acts as a coagulating agent for other activated solids, trapping them in the polymer. These solids can contain high calorie molecules such as complex sugars and high calorie carbohydrate molecules. These are the substances often get converted into to fat which is stored in the body.
Apart from its work as a fat binder, chitosan is most effective in reducing blood cholesterol level. Chitosan is able to reduce the body’s accumulation of low density lipids (LDL).
The blocking of the absorption of dietary fat by Chitosan stimulates the metabolism of the stored fat. Since the fresh intake of fat is blocked, the daily requirement of the fat will be utilized from the stored fat and cholesterol which results in the normalization of the cholesterol level in the body within 2-3 weeks. The accelerated metabolism of stored fat tends to reduce the body weight considerably. Appreciable difference can be noted within one month
Extensive clinical studies had been conducted for various aspects of the Chitosan. The most significant study on human was conducted by a team of doctors using chitosan is ARS MEDICINA (Helsinki-Finland from mid- August – October of 1994). The primary objective of the study was to measure the weight reduction efficacy of the Chitosan. The study involved 30 moderately obese patients – a test group and a control group. Both the groups consumed the identical diets. In addition, the test groups were given Chitosan. The control group was given a placebo. After a period of four weeks the control groups lost 5.5 pounds, while the chitosan group lost 15 pounds. The research groups concluded that Chitosan appeared to be a non toxic, well tolerated effective natural product, in helping the people achieve weight reduction, normal blood pressure and blood cholesterol reduction (LDL). The average diastolic blood pressure reading fell 20 millimeters of mercury with an additional 9mmof mercury pressure drop in the systolic. Various toxicological studies also shows chitosan is safe as sugar or salt.
The extensive use of Chitosan in all the developed countries without any side effects is the proof of its safety and its effectiveness. In India MATSYAFED ( Kerala State Co-operative Federation for Fisheries Development LTD ) is producing Chitosan Capsules in the brand name of “CHITONE” which shows very positive results in weight reduction, Cholesterol control and BP normalization.
For Information Contact:
The Manager MATSYAFED CHITIN & CHITOSAN PLANT, NEENDAKARA, KOLLAM, KERALA.Ph: 0476 - 2681750 Mob : 9526041085
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org