How Chitosan Can Support the Food Industry

Chitosan is the marine raw material that powers Primex products. Thanks to its highly efficient natural, bioactive fibrous polymer, chitosan has over 400 applications, including the food, beverage and food preservation industry.

Moving towards a healthier, greener future is a concern among many consumers today. Additives, preservatives and environmentally unfriendly packaging are just some of the relevant, troubling issues facing the food industry. Chitosan and its derivatives, such as chitosan powder, can be a powerful ally in transforming practices that meet greener environmental standards while also reassuring consumers of safer practices.

Chitosan has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration as a safe dietary fiber, food additive and functional ingredient for consumer use. As chitosan manufacturers with over 20 years of experience and a state-of-the-art chitosan factory, we provide our customers with high-quality, pure chitosan in a number of formats, including chitosan powder.

Food preservation

As chitosan is a natural, non-toxic, biocompatible and biodegradable polymer, it has many applications , including in the food industry.

As a food preservative, chitosan can:

  • be applied by spraying solutions or dip coating
  • allow film-forming due to its long chemical structure
  • provide antimicrobial activity, eliminating the use of toxic chemicals
  • extend shelf life while maintaining or improving the sensory quality of many foods

Thanks to its exceptional antimicrobial and film-forming activities, chitosan can be used in agriculture , including as a food preservation coating agent. It can be formulated into powders, sprays, edible films and solutions that can coat and protect foods from deteriorating microorganisms. Chitosan's cationic chemical structure allows it to bind directly to the outer membrane of microorganism cells, providing antimicrobial protection for fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood and liquid products.

In addition, chitosan has shown excellent mechanical properties, meaning it can incorporate or deliver functional substances, such as vitamins and antimicrobial agents. This can prove effective in reducing the need for potentially harmful chemical pesticides in crop protection and replacing them with natural, biocompatible chitosan-based products.

Food packaging

Chitosan can be formulated into a number of different formats , including fibres, films, gels, beads or nanoparticles, to create coating and packaging materials that are biocompatible and biodegradable. This means chitosan can replace non-biodegradable and non-renewable polymers that have traditionally been used for these purposes.

Furthermore, chitosan-based matrices have been used for active and intelligent packaging for beverages, such as dairy-based drinks, alcoholic beverages, juices, tea, coffee and fruit juice concentrates.

Beverage industry

Chitosan can also be used for the preservation, clarification and encapsulation of beverages. This is most commonly practiced by the wine industry, where chitosan can be used for clarification, stabilization, de-acidification and elimination of undesirable substances, such as pesticides and metals.

Nutraceuticals

Chitosan has proven a valuable addition to the nutraceutical industry, that includes functional foods, dietary supplements and herbal or natural products. Chitosan properties that prove functional for use in nutraceuticals include antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic and antiulcer bioactivities.

Primex products in this category include LipoSan Ultra , a natural, safe and effective weight management supplement, when used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle. As a dietary fibre, chitosan can block the absorption of fats, lipids and cholesterols, lowering blood or liver cholesterol, decreasing blood pressure and facilitating weight loss. Chitosan also has prebiotic qualities, promoting colonic health and exerting antioxidant action.

Animal feeds

Chitosan and its derivatives, like chitosan powder, has proven effective in the animal nutrition industry as well. In recent years, recycling protein from biowaste and turning it into domestic animal feed has become a growing market. Chitosan works as an ingredient for animal feed thanks to its prebiotic and antimicrobial effects, and its nutritional properties.

It has the ability to fortify the gut with beneficial bacteria and suppress pathogenic bacteria. Plus, as chitosan regulates blood cholesterol levels and alleviates fatty liver syndrome, overall animal health increases and producer productivity is enhanced. Chitosan animal feed has been effectively used for pigs, ducks, broilers and laying hens. 

 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.