Japanese company begins making nanofibers from crab shells


In Japan,  Green Science Alliance Co., Ltd. has begun producing chitin nanofiber and chitosan nanofiber for a wide range of applications at its Kawanishi facility.

Chitin is a natural polysaccharide composed of sequential chains of the monosaccharide acetylglu-cosamine—which is similar to cellulose—and the main component of crab, shrimp, and insect skin. Next to cellulose, chitin is the second largest bioresource on earth.

Chitin nanofiber is a new material made from crab shells that has high mechanical strength, high elas-ticity, and a low thermal expansion coefficient. Chitosan nanofiber, which can be obtained from chitin, may be applied as a functional coating and as an additive for glues, sealants, or cosmetics, which have use in bio-medicine, electronics, and optics.

Green Science Alliance has not, however, developed applications for use directly in food and beverag-es.