Chitin is the second-most abundant organic compound in nature and naturally occurs as a fibre forming polymer that plays a protective role in many lower eukaryotes similar to that of cellulose in plants. It is a long chain unbranched polysaccharide consisting of N-acetylglucosamine residues connected through β1,4 covalent bonds. Chitin plays an important role in biological structures such as insect peritrophic matrix, fungal cell walls, crustacean cuticles, cyst wall of protozoa and eggshells from nematodes. Owing to the varied characteristics chitin derivatives, such as chitooligosaccharides have many biotechnological applications. Chitin derivatives are also extensively used in areas which include biomedicine, pharmaceutical and food technology and agro-biosciences.
The main sources for chitin are cuticles of various crustaceans, mainly shrimps and crabs. Chemical demineralization and deproteinization are generally used methods for chemical extraction of chitin. The chitin which is present in the crabshell enables soil organisms to secrete enzymes called chitinases. Chitanases degrade chitin, which is a constituent of flea egg shells. The occurrence of chitin in the fertilizer turns it into a natural biopesticide, which makes it non-toxic to animals, fish, birds and plants.
Chitin Market Taxonomy
On the basis of product type, the global chitin market is classified into:
On the basis of end-use industry, the global chitin market is classified into:
Chitin is widely used in healthcare industry due to properties such as renewable origin, biocompatibility, non-allergenicity, non-toxicity, and biodegradability in the body Owing to excellent biological activities such as antifungal, anticholesteremic agent, antitumor, antibacterial, antithrombogenic, immunoadjuvant, and bioadhesivity, chitin is widely used as a hydrating agent and absorption promoter. It also used for applications such as film production and wound healing. Chitin is also used as an excipient and drug carrier in gel, film, or powder form for many applications including mucoadhesivity.
Chitin Market Outlook – Rising Demand in Healthcare and allied Industries to be the Major Market Driver
Asia Pacific and North America are expected to be the most potential markets for chitin manufacturers. This owing to the rapidly growing healthcare industry coupled with growing medical tourism in developing countries such as India. According to IBEF, Indian healthcare industry is expected to reach at USD 280 billion by 2020. In the Union Budget 2017-18 of India, the health budget was increased from USD 5.96 billion to USD 7.3 billion. The Indian healthcare industry is budding swiftly due to its firming coverage, services and high expenditure by public and private players. India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) is a Trust established by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Department of Commerce in collaboration with the Government of India with the purpose of promoting and creating international awareness of goods manufactured in India.
Extensive use in the healthcare industry is fueling the growth of chitin market, especially in Asia Pacific and Middle East regions. Insolubility of chitin is one of the restraining factors in the global chitin market. However, this is chitin is combined with chitosan to avoid these problem without affecting its application. Product innovation and expansion in various geographies is a key strategy adopted by the major players in the chitin market. In January 2015, Kerry Group plc, a global taste and nutrition company, acquired Wellmune from Biothera Inc. Wellmune is a natural food and beverage ingredient which helps to strengthen the immune system. Some of the major companies operating in the global chitin market include Biothera, Navamedic ASA, Kunpoong Bio Co. Ltd., Advanced Biopolymers AS, CarboMer Inc., Heppe Medical Chitosan GmbH, Sonat Co., United Chitotechnologies Inc., Meron Biopolymers, Dalian Xindie Chitin Co. Ltd., QBas Co., TaizhouCandorly Sea Biochemical & Health Products Co. Ltd and PrimexEhf.