Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology

, Volume 181, Issue 4, pp 1314–1337 | Cite as

Current Status and New Perspectives on Chitin and Chitosan as Functional Biopolymers

  • Tuyishime Philibert
  • Byong H. LeeEmail author
  • Nsanzabera Fabien


The natural biopolymer chitin and its deacetylated product chitosan are found abundantly in nature as structural building blocks and are used in all sectors of human activities like materials science, nutrition, health care, and energy. Far from being fully recognized, these polymers are able to open opportunities for completely novel applications due to their exceptional properties which an economic value is intrinsically entrapped. On a commercial scale, chitosan is mainly obtained from crustacean shells rather than from the fungal and insect sources. Significant efforts have been devoted to commercialize chitosan extracted from fungal and insect sources to completely replace crustacean-derived chitosan. However, the traditional chitin extraction processes are laden with many disadvantages. The present review discusses the potential bioextraction of chitosan from fungal, insect, and crustacean as well as its superior physico-chemical properties. The different aspects of fungal, insects, and crustacean chitosan extraction methods and various parameters having an effect on the yield of chitin and chitosan are discussed in detail. In addition, this review also deals with essential attributes of chitosan for high value-added applications in different fields and highlighted new perspectives on the production of chitin and deacetylated chitosan from different sources with the concomitant reduction of the environmental impact.


Biological approach Chitin Chitosan Fungus Insects Shellfish wastes 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Declaration of Interest

The authors report no conflicts of interest. The authors alone are responsible for the content and writing of this manuscript.

Ethical Statement

The article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tuyishime Philibert
    • 1
  • Byong H. Lee
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Nsanzabera Fabien
    • 1
  1. 1.School of BiotechnologyJiangnan UniversityWuxiChina
  2. 2.Department of Food Science and BiotechnologyKangwon National UniversityChuncheonSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of Microbiology/ImmunologyMcGill UniversityQCCanada

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