Sonication-assisted extraction of chitin from North Atlantic shrimps (Pandalus borealis)

Gunnar T. Kjartansson, Svetlana Zivanovic, Kristberg Kristbergsson, Jochen Weiss*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


The influence of sonication during extraction of chitin from North Atlantic shrimp (NAS) shells (Pandalus borealis) on chitin yield, purity, and crystallinity was investigated. Shells were peeled, washed, lyophilized, ground, and suspended for 4 h in 0.25 M HCl (1:40) at 40°C followed by ultrasonication at 41 W/cm2 for 0, 1, and 4 h, respectively. Demineralized shells were lyophilized, resuspended in 0.25 M NaOH (1:40), and ultrasonicated at 41 W/cm2 for 0, 1, and 4 h to remove proteins. The yield and mineral and protein contents were determined after each processing step. The purity of extracted chitin was determined from the total amount of glucosamine. The crystallinity index and size of crystals were calculated from wide-angle X-ray scattering measurements. Scanning electron microscope images were recorded to evaluate morphological changes in samples. The yield of chitin from NAS decreased from 16.5 to 11.4% for 0 and 1 h sonicated samples, respectively, which was attributed to increased concentrations of depolymerized materials in the wash water. Sonication did not enhance the removal of minerals. The application of ultrasound enhanced the removal of proteins from 39.8 to 10.6, 8.3, and 7.3% after 0, 1, and 4 h of sonication treatments. The crystallinity index of chitin decreased from 87.6 to 79.1 and 78.5% after 1 and 4 h of sonication, yielding chitosans with crystallinity indices of 76.7, 79.5, and 74.8% after deacetylation, respectively. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy scans indicated that the degree of acetylation of chitins was unaffected by sonication. Comparison of the extraction results of NAS with that from freshwater prawns indicated that more impurities were left in NAS chitin, suggesting that composition and structural arrangement of chitin in shells influence the efficiency of ultrasound-assisted extraction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5894-5902
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2006

Other keywords

  • Chitin
  • Extraction
  • North Atlantic shrimp
  • Sonication
  • Ultrasound


Dive into the research topics of 'Sonication-assisted extraction of chitin from North Atlantic shrimps (Pandalus borealis)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this