Application of Chitosan in Food

Chitosan is the only known natural alkaline cationic polymer with outstanding biocompatibility, antibacterial and biodegradability. it has become a new physiological functional material and has been widely used in medicine, environmental protection, textile, food, cosmetics, agriculture and other fields. Chitosan is used as thickener and coating agent in the national food additive standard.

1. Anticorrosive preservative agent

Chitosan has strong bacteriostatic and antioxidant properties, and its application in food industry can play a good role in anticorrosion and preservation. In the aspect of fruits and vegetables, we can use chitosan as a preservative to prevent microbial invasion and reduce the decay rate of fruits and vegetables. In meat products, we mainly use the antibacterial and antioxidant properties of chitosan to enhance the preservation effect and prolong the shelf life.

2. Edible antibacterial packaging

the film-forming properties of chitosan have also been successfully applied to food packaging. the antibacterial coating treatment of vegetables, fruits, grains and fish makes microbial invasion a protective barrier, thus ensuring the sensory and nutritional quality of food.

3. Thickeners and emulsifiers

Chitosan can also be used as a thickener and stabilizer. China approved chitosan as a food thickener in 2007. It is shown that the emulsifying, thickening and stabilizing properties of chitosan can be further improved after it is made into microcrystals or dispersions, and the application effect in cold drink products is good. And chitosan as thickener, stabilizer, can be used in bread products, jam and other food production.

4. Juice clarifier

The clarification mechanism of chitosan is related to the positive charge of chitosan molecules, which can adsorb the negatively charged pectin and protein in juice. Because of the long chain linear structure of chitosan, it can adsorb multi-particle impurities and form flocs on the same molecule, and finally settle down to achieve the purpose of clarification.

5. Immobilized carriers of enzymes

Chitosan hydrochloric acid solution was injected into alkaline solution for solidification, and the chitosan fine particles were isolated and regenerated as immobilized enzyme carrier. The enzyme immobilized by chitosan can be widely used in food industry such as sugar making, wine making and vinegar making.

6. Functional food additives

Hypoglycans are added as raw materials in health products that regulate blood sugar or blood lipids, and can also be used as additives for diet foods. Chitosan is a probiotic because it is not easy to digest intestinal enzymes, which is beneficial to the growth of beneficial bacteria in gastrointestinal tract.

7. Used in microcapsules

Chitosan is an ideal microencapsulated wall material because of its non-toxicity, biodegradability, biocompatibility and film-forming properties. Microencapsulation of chitosan increased its added value and expanded its application scope

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