Application of gamma radiation and physicochemical treatment to improve the bioactive properties of chitosan extracted from shrimp shell

Jesmin Aktar 2 , Zahid Hasan 1 , Tahmina Afroz 2 , Harun-or-Rashid 1  and Kamruzzaman Pramanik 1
  • 1 Microbiology and Industrial Irradiation Division, Institute of Food and Radiation Biology, Atomic Energy Research Establishment, , Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • 2 Department of Zoology, Faculty of Biological Science, Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka, Bangladesh


The aim of this study is to exploit a suitable chitosan extraction method from the chitin of indigenous shrimp shells by employing different physicochemical treatments and to improve different bioactive properties of this extracted chitosan (CS) by applying gamma radiation. Chitin was prepared from shrimp shell by pretreatment (deproteination, demineralization and oxidation). Chitosan was extracted from chitin by eight different methods varying different physicochemical parameters (reagent concentration, temperature and time) and assessed with respect to the degree of deacetylation, requirement of time and reagents. The method where chitin was repeatedly treated with 121°C for 30 min with 20 M NaOH, produced the highest degree of deacetylation (DD) value (92%) as measured by potentiometric titration, with the least consumption of time and chemicals, and thus, selected as the best suitable extraction method. For further quality improvement, chitosan with highest DD value was irradiated with different doses (i.e., 5, 10, 15, 20 and 50 kGy) of gamma radiation from cobalt-60 gamma irradiator. As the radiation dose was increased, the molecular weight of the wet irradiated chitosan, as measured by the viscosimetric method, decreased from 1.16 × 105 to 1.786 × 103, 1.518 × 103, 1.134 × 103, 1.046 × 103 and 8.23 × 102 dalton, respectively. The radiation treatment of chitosan samples increased the antimicrobial activity significantly in concentration dependent manner on both gram-positive (Staphylococcus aureus) and gram-negative (Escherichia coli) bacteria, as determined by the well-diffusion method. Four to five percent wet chitosan treated with a radiation dose range of 5.0–10.0 kGy rendered the highest antimicrobial activity with least energy and time consumption. Solubility, water binding capacity (WBC) and fat binding capacity (FBC) also improved due to irradiation of chitosan.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • 1. Shahidi, F., Arachchi, J. K. V., & Jeon, Y. J. (1999). Food application of chitin and chitosan. Trends Food Sci. Technol., 10(2), 37–51. DOI: 10.1016/S0924-2244(99)00017-5.

  • 2. Majeti, N. V., & Kumar, R. (2000). A review of chitin and chitosan applications. React. Funct. Polym., 46(1), 1–27.

  • 3. Fernandes, J. C., Tavaria, F. K., Soares, J. C., Ramos, Ó. S., Monteiro, M. J., Pintado, M. E., & Malcata, F. X. (2008). Antimicrobial effects of chitosans and chitooligosaccharides, upon Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli, in food model system. Food Microbiol., 25, 922–928. DOI: 10.1016/

  • 4. Devlieghere, F., Vermeulen, J., & Debevere, J. (2004). Chitosan: antimicrobial activity, interactions with food components and applicability as a coating on fruit and vegetables. Food Microbiol., 21, 703–714.

  • 5. Rout, S. K. (2001). Physicochemical, functional and spectroscopic analysis of crawfish chitin and chitosan as affected by process modification. Dissertation (Thesis), Louisiana State University, and Agricultural and Mechanical College, Department of Food Science.

  • 6. Tajik, H., Moradi, M., Rohani, S. M. R., Erfani, A. M., & Jalali, F. S. S. (2008). Preparation of chitosan from brine shrimp cyst shell and effects of different chemical processing sequences on the physicochemical and functional properties of the product. Molecules, 13(6), 1263–1274.

  • 7. No, H. K., Meyers, S. P., & Lee, K. S. (1995). Preparation and characterization of chitin and chitosan – a review. J. Aquat. Food Prod. Technol., 4(2), 27–52.

  • 8. Tolaimate, A., Desbrieres, J., Rhazi, M., Alague, A., Vincendon, M., & Vottero, P. (2000). On the influence of deacetylation process on the physicochemical characteristics of chitosan from squid chitin. Polymer, 41, 2463–2469. DOI: 10.1016/S0032-3861(99)00400-0.

  • 9. Liu, N., Chen, X. g., Park, H. J., Liu, C. G., Liu, S. C., Meng, X. H., & Yu, L. J. (2006). Effect of MW and concentration of chitosan on antibacterial activity of Escherichia coli. Carbohydr. Polym., 64, 60–65. DOI: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2005.10.028.

  • 10. Rege, P. R., Garmise, R. J., & Block, L. H. (2003). Spray-dried chitinosans. Part I: preparation and characterization. Int. J. Pharm., 252, 41–51. DOI: 10.1016/S0378-5173(02)00604-X.

  • 11. Matsuhashi, S., & Kume, T. (1997). Enhancement of antimicrobial activity of chitosan by irradiation. J. Sci. Food Agric., 73(2), 237–241. DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0010(199702)73:2<237::AIDJSFA711> 3.0.CO;2-4.

  • 12. Muzzarelli, R. A. A. (2013). Chitin. Oxford: Pergamon Press.

  • 13. Rhazi, M., Desbrieres, J., Tolaimate, A., Alague, A., & Vottero, P. (2000). Investigation of different natural sources of chitin: influence of the source and deacetylation process on the physicochemical characteristics of chitosan. Polymer Int., 49(4), 337–344. DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0126(200004)49:4<337::AIDPI375> 3.0.CO;2-B.

  • 14. Knorr, D. (1982). Functional properties of chitin and chitosan. J. Food Sci., 47(2), 593–595. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2621.1982.tb10131.x.

  • 15. Gryczka, U., Dondi, D., Chmielewski, A. G., Migdal, W., Buttafava, A., & Faucitano, A. (2009). The mechanism of chitosan degradation by gamma and e-beam irradiation. Radiat. Phys. Chem., 78(7/8), 543–548. DOI: 10.1016/j.radphyschem.2009.03.081.

  • 16. Le Caër, S. (2011). Water radiolysis: Influence of oxide surfaces on H2 production under ionizing radiation. Water, 3(1), 235–253. DOI: 10.3390/w3010235.


Journal + Issues