Radiation Processing And Characterization Of Chitin And Chitosan Extracted From Crab Shells

  • G Emi-Reynolds
  • S Zaki
  • GK Banini
  • SA Dogbe
  • MA Ofori-Appiah
  • I Ennison
  • A Fianko
  • JY Faanu
  • C Schandorf


The extraction and characterization of Chitin and Chitosan from crab shells (Callinectes sp.) obtained locally in Ghana is presented. The shells were finely milled and soaked in 10 % dilute hydrochloric acid (HCl) for 48 hr followed by de-proteinization using 2M sodium hydroxide (NaOH) solution for 24 hr to obtain Chitin. The Chitin was refluxed at 100 oC in 50 % NaOH for 7 hr to yield Chitosan. The Chitin and Chitosan were characterized by determining the de-acetylation, viscosity and average molecular weights. The degree of de-acetylation was determined to be 89.7 %. The viscosity of Chitosan in dilute acetic acid was measured and the average molecular weight estimated. The average molecular weight of dry gamma irradiated (up to 100kGy) Chitosan samples decreased with increasing dose. The results have been discussed in terms of radiation induced degradation of solids.

Journal of the Ghana Science Association Vol. 9 (2) 2007: pp. 18-24

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eISSN: 0855-3823