Historical note With the exception of cellulose, chitin is the most abundant natural polysaccharide on Earth. It is produced by different crustaceans, molluscs, insects, algae, fungi and yeasts. Recently, the commercial value of chitin has increased because of the beneficial properties of its soluble derivatives, which are used in chemistry, biotechnology, agriculture, food processing, cosmetics, veterinary science, medicine, dentistry, environmental protection, and paper or textile production. The most useful chitin derivative is chitosan.

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