Why Chitosan is A Natural Wonder of the Ocean

Chitosan is the marine polysaccharide that powers Primex pure chitosan products. But what is chitosan exactly, where does it come from and what are its applications? Read on to find out more about this natural, bio-active fiber and how it can open doors of potential. 

What is chitosan? 

Chitosan is a bioactive fibrous compound derived from chitin. Chitin is the second-most abundant natural biopolymer in the world, topped only by cellulose. It is a natural, renewable and nontoxic organic polysaccharide with excellent biocompatibility and biodegradability.  

As Primex chitin is derived from marine environments, it does not compete for human or land resources. Chitin can be found naturally in large amounts, though chitosan is only found in nature in limited quantities. As a result, chitosan quality powder and other chitosan products used in industrial applications are derived from chitin through chemical or enzymatic treatments.  

Furthermore, Primex chitosan is a by-product, made from discarded biomaterials, it is an environmentally efficient ingredient. Biopolymers like chitosan, derived from living organisms or synthesized from renewable resources, are proving to be excellent and highly sought-after low-cost alternatives to synthetic chemicals and polymers derived from petroleum-based raw materials.  

Furthermore, all Primex-produced chitosan is free from heavy metal pollution. As the concentration of heavy metal pollution in the sea around Iceland is low, it does not pass down from the water to the marine crustaceans that make up our raw source material.  

Where does CHITOSAN come from? 

Chitin can be found in the hard, exterior shells of arthropods such as crustaceans (e.g., crabs, shrimps, lobsters), in the scales of fish and lissamphibians, and in insects, molluscs and cephalopods. Plant-based, gluten-free chitosan is sourced from the fungus Aspergillus Niger. 

Primex pure chitosan powder is sourced from the shell of the North Atlantic Coldwater Shrimp (Pandalus Borealis) that live in the pristine waters around Iceland. Sophisticated computerized technology and sustainable practices contribute to the complete utilization of natural resources here at our Primex chitosan factory.  

Where can chitosan be used? 

There are over 400 possible applications of chitosan. Chitosan powder and other formats are used in several high-value industries, such as biomedical, pharmaceutical, cosmetics and food industries. By modifying the polymer, chitosan's applicability can be extended, and harnessing chitosan's superpowers opens up a world of possibility and potential. 

There are several reasons why pure chitosan is such an effective, cheap and useful substance, and these are driving factors behind what we as chitosan producers do here at Primex. As manufacturers of pure chitosan powder, we can provide chitosan powder in bulk, making it a financially smart alternative to other biopolymers. If you would like to buy chitosan, you can contact us so that we can assist you further and answer any questions you might have.

Some of chitosan's unique properties include: 

  • has a positive electrostatic charge (cationic) 
  • biodegradable as it contains breakable glycosidic bonds 
  • biocompatible and bioadhesive 
  • non-toxic 
  • antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal and analgesic 
  • fire retardant 
  • acts as a biostimulant and elicitor, for plant defense pathways 
  • due to the presence of the amino groups, chitosan is capable of binding with positively charged molecules, including cholesterol, fats, proteins, and metal ions 

Chitosan and its derivatives have practical applications in many fields, including: 

  • medicine and biomedicine 
  • cosmetology 
  • personal care and hygiene 
  • nutrition and the food industry 
  • agrochemistry and agriculture 
  • textiles and the paper industry 
  • biodegradable, antimicrobial food packaging 
  • enology and the beverage industry 

Specific applications of chitosan and its derivatives include: 

  • vaccine adjuvants 
  • antimicrobial agents 
  • wound dressing 
  • tissue engineering and tissue regeneration 
  • cancer diagnosis 
  • contact lens fabrication 
  • anti-thrombogenic and haemostatic materials 
  • antiaging cosmetics 
  • antitumor activity 
  • biopesticides 
  • prebiotics 

Chitosan can also be used in emerging fields such as: 

  • nutraceuticals 
  • cosmeceuticals and cosmetotextiles 
  • nanotechnology 
  • aquaculture 
  • feed stocks and animal feed additives 
  • 3D and bioprinting 

Chitosan can effectively replace chemicals such as:  

  • pesticides & insecticides 
  • toxic antimicrobials 
  • heavy metal antimicrobials 
  • inorganic flocculants & coagulants 

Chitosan can be formulated into: 

  • biodegradable chitosan films  
  • microcapsule implants 
  • novel bio-active chitosan fibers
  • transparent chitosan sheets 
  • soluble chitosan powder
  • chitosan liquids 
  • chitosan flakes 
  • polymer scaffolds 
  • chitosan hydrogels 
  • nanoparticles 

If you would like to buy chitosan, chitosan powder in bulk, or discuss other chitosan formats, you can contact us so that we can assist you and help answer any questions you might have.