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Biotechnological approach to produce chitin and chitosan from the shells of Artemia urmiana günther, 1899 (Branchiopoda, Anostraca) cysts from Urmia Lake, Iran

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Chitin and chitosan are both natural biopolymers that can be extracted from the shells (exoskeletons) of a variety of crustaceans. The objective of the present study was to characterize the chitin and chitosan obtained from the shells of Artemia urmiana cysts and to compare these to two commercially available products purified by chemical and biological methods. The shells of Artemia cysts were obtained from Urmia Lake, Iran. We found a high yield of chitin in comparison to other sources, with a lower percentage of residual materials. We also found the efficiency of conversion of chitin to chitosan to be 20 ± 10% using the biological method described herein. The high molecular weight, crystalinity, and lower degree of deacetylation (D.D.A.) of these biopolymers obtained by the biological method were other characteristics associated with the use of Artemia urmiana cyst shells as the source. The results of analytical methods indicate that both chitin and chitosan from empty Artemia cysts compared favourably with two commercially available products. In conclusion, we suggest that one should consider using the biotechnological approach taken here, instead of resorting to commonly used chemical methods, in order to reduce environmental pollution but still obtain high quality products. Chitine et chitosan sont deux biopolymères naturels qui peuvent être extraits à partir de l'exosquelette des crustacés. L'objectif de ce travail a été de caractériser la chitine et le chitosan obtenu à partir d'enveloppes de cystes d'Artemia urmiana et de les comparer à deux produits commerciaux purifiés par des méthodes chimiques et biologiques. Les enveloppes des cystes d'Artemia proviennent du lac Urmia, Iran. Par comparaison avec les autres sources, un contenu élevé en chitine avec un plus faible pourcentage de matériaux résiduels a été trouvé. L'efficacité de conversion de la chitine en chitosan a été de 20 ± 10% en utilisant la méthode biologique décrite ici. Un poids moléculaire élevé, un degré de cristallisation élevé et un faible degré d'acétylation (D.D.A.) sont les autres caractéristiques des polymères obtenus par la méthode biologique à partir des cystes vides d' d'Artemia urmania. Les résultats des méthodes analytiques indiquent que la chitine et le chitosan des parois des cystes d'Artemia peuvent être favorablement comparés aux deux produits commercialisés. En conclusions nous suggérons qu'afin de réduire la pollution environnementale tout en obtenant des produits de qualité, l'approche biotechnologique utilisée dans cette étude devrait être préférée aux méthodes chimiques habituellement utilisées.

Affiliations: 1: Iranian Artemia Reference Center, P.O. Box 368, Urmia, Iran; 2: Iranian Fisheries Research Organization (IFRO), P.O. Box 14155-6116, Teheran, Iran; 3: Iranian Artemia Reference Center, P.O. Box 57135-1367, Urmia, Iran


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