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New Report Highlights Growth Potential From Chitin And Chitosan

December 2, 2010: 08:09 AM EST

Chitin and chitosan (a form of chitin) are derived from crustacean shells and used in nutrition and food products, as well as biomedicine. A new report from Global Industry Analysts reviews the market for these materials, which are used in a range of products, including surgical sutures and clothes, as well as antibiotics, dietary supplements, and food for humans and pets. The report forecasts a global market of $63 billion for chitin derivatives by 2015 and a global chitosan market of over $21 billion. Benefits include cholesterol control. In the supplements market, for example, chitosan, a natural biopolymer, is an “excellent fat trapper due to its remarkable property of binding with lipids and fats.” It can also be used to help treat irritable bowel syndrome, and one derivative is glucosamine. New applications for the ingredients are awaiting FDA approval in the US. Japan already has an established market. Downside risks to the market include high production costs, a lack of quality chitosan supplies, and pollution in the production process. 

Joanna Cosgrove, "The Global Chitosan Market", Nutraceutical World, December 02, 2010, © Rodman Publishing
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