1998 Volume 45 Issue 4 Pages 415-419
Chitin and its N-deacetylated derivative, chitosan, are manufactured on a large scale from the outer shells of crustaceans (crabs and shrimps), which are attractive as functional natural materials. In the past, a major trend of applied research on chitin and chitosan has been directed toward the use of these polysaccharides. But it is important, by using their hydrolysates, chitin-oligosaccharides and chitosanoligosaccharides, which have unique characteristics that are different from polymers, to achieve highutilization. This review deals with the properties and uses of these oligosaccharides by focusing on recent developments.