Chitosan food is an innovative Functional Food. Find out details about its clinical properties, patenting and production.

Chitosan, also named polyglucosamine, is a linear poly-aminosaccharide. It is obtained through chitin deacetylation, which is the structural element in the exoskeleton of crustaceans (such as crabs and shrimp) and cell walls of fungi.
In 2011 EFSA granted chitosan with the claim “Chitosan contributes to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels”, with the health relationship “maintenance of normal blood LDL-cholesterol concentrations”.

Chitosan mixed with tartaric and ascorbic acids can be added to food normally consumed in the diet, as it can be blended in pasta, bakery products, fine bakery wares and snacks. There is no difference in terms of nutritional values and organoleptic properties of food with and without chitosan, thus preserving all the properties of the original food, such as taste, smell and texture. Therefore, the chitosan may be added to the dough preparation mixture and the final product can be taken as an alternative food option with a specific health claim. Currently, in Europe, our Novel Food application on food blended with chitosan is in the last step of the risk assessment phase.

Scientific Background

Chitosan, due to the presence of multiple amino groups, when dissolved in aqueous acidic media, shows a high positive charge on its surface that allows it to adhere to or to aggregate with negatively charged molecules, such as LDL and other lipids, thus affecting a specific function of our body, by producing beneficial effects on our health.
From a mechanistic point of view, in the acidic environment of the stomach (pH ≈ 2) polyglucosamine swells and forms a positively charged gel. The gel attracts negatively charged molecules such as lipids, fatty acids and their oxidized forms. Once in the small intestine (pH ≈ 7-8) these complexes solidify and are subsequently excreted in the feces, as aggregates.


Acified chitosan in pasta and bakery products is covered by patents in Italy (1365045), in the EU (EP1855546), in Brazil (BRPI0606780), in China (CN101115401), in India (252331), in Russia (RU2404685) and in the USA (US8722127).

Functional Food