Original research articles

Applications and interest of chitin, chitosan and their derivatives in enology


This review treats of the possible use interest of chitin, chitosan and derivatives in enology. Chitosan and chitin are polysaccharide polymers containing more than 5 000 glucosamine and acetylglucosamine units, respectively, and their molecular weights are over one million Daltons. Chitin is found in fungi, arthropods and marine invertebrates. Commercially, chitin is derived from the exoskeletons of crustaceans (shrimp, crab and other shellfish). Chitosan is obtained from chitin by a deacetylation process. An alternative can be the obtention of chitin and chitosane derivatives from fungi source and has been developed by Kitozyme Firm.

Chitin, the polysaccharide polymer from which chitosan is derived, is a cellulose-like polymer consisting mainly of unbranched chains of N-acetyl-D-glucosamine. Deacetylated chitin, or chitosan, is comprised of chains of D-glucosamine. When ingested, chitosan can be considered as a dietary fiber.

The use of chitin, chitosan and derivatives should be favorable for differents aspects of wine production, in particular for : stabilization, clarification, deacidification, removal of heavy metals (lead, cadmium) or major metals (iron , copper), elimination of ochratoxin A, enzymes and pesticides.


Aurélie Bornet

Affiliation : Université Montpellier I, UMR 1083 Sciences pour l'oenologie, Centre d'OEnologie, Faculté de Pharmacie, 15, avenue Charles Flahault, BP 14491 Université Montpellier I, 34093 Montpellier cedex 5, France; KITOZYME, Parc industriel des Hauts-Sarts, Zone 2, rue Haute Claire, 4, BE-4040 Herstal, Belgium

Pierre-Louis Teissedre


Affiliation : Université de Bordeaux, Institut des Sciences de la Vigne et du Vin, Faculté d’OEnologie, 210 chemin de Leysotte, CS 50008 33882, Villenave d’Ornon Cedex, France


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