Global Chitosan Market to Exhibit 17.7% CAGR During 2014-2020 Driven by Innovative Applications of Chitosan

Chitosan refers to a biodegradable and natural polymer derived from the shells of shrimp and other crustaceans such as lobsters, squids, and crabs. Chemically, it is an organic carbohydrate polymer containing chitin. Chitosan is also derived from fungal source through substrate fermentation. The global chitosan market is growing rapidly due to the wide applications of the polymer across various industries. The global market for chitosan was worth US$1.35 bn in 2013. Expanding robustly at a CAGR of 17.7% during the period between 2014 and 2020, the market is estimated to reach a valuation of US$4.22 bn by 2020.

Waste Water Management Emerges as Key Application Segment in Global Chitosan Market

In terms of applications, the global chitosan market has been segmented into food and beverages, industrial, water treatment, biomedicines and pharmaceuticals, agrochemical, cosmetics, and others including photographic products and fuel cells. The market is driven by the demand from the water treatment application segment, especially across the regions such as North America, Japan, and Europe.

Chitosan is used as a flocculent to treat wastewater. It is an effective coagulant for both organic and inorganic compounds present in water. It is also used as a chelating agent to bind with the highly toxic heavy metals such as lead present in industrial wastewater. Owing to its biodegradability, biocompatibility, and non-toxic nature, the demand for chitosan in wastewater treatment will surge in the coming years, particularly across Asia Pacific where China and Japan are the key markets.

Chitosan is also used in agrochemicals and in the near future, the demand for chitosan for application in agrochemicals is expected to be the highest. The growing demand for organic constituents in cosmetics and wide applications of chitosan in hair care, skin care, and oral care cosmetic formulations are anticipated to define the future outlook of the market. Lately, researchers have found out innovative applications of chitosan. Chitosan-based dietary supplements are being increasingly used due to its weight reduction and fat binding properties. Chitosan nanoparticles are widely used across the pharmaceutical and biomedical sectors owing to their higher reactivity. 

Chitosan-based Eco-Friendly Food Packaging Material Developed at National University of Singapore

Researchers from the National University of Singapore have developed an environment-friendly food packaging material derived from chitosan. Free from chemical additives, the natural chitosan-based composite film with grapefruit seed extract can slow down fungal growth, thereby increasing the shelf life of perishable food products such as bread. While chitosan has inherent antifungal and antimicrobial properties, grapefruit seed extract is antioxidant and has anti-viral properties. The novel composite film has flexibility and mechanical strength that are comparable to synthetic polythene film commonly used for food packaging.  The film blocks UV light, thereby slowing down oxidation and photochemical reactions that increases the shelf life of food products.


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