CHITOZAN - a molecule with great potential
Chitozn is a natural, non-toxic, biodegradable and biofunctional polymer, safe for the human body and the environment. It is obtained from the shells of marine crustaceans by deacetylation of chitin, which, after cellulose, is the most abundant organic material found in nature. It shows antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant properties.
Effect of chitozan on the body
– lowers cholesterol levels
– increases the body’s immune system by increasing T-lymphocyte activity
– lowers blood pressure
– favourably influences intestinal peristalsis
– eliminates hyperacidity and flatulence
– regulates the pancreas and liver
– cleanses the body of toxins, heavy metals and other harmful substances
Chitozan in cosmetics
– accelerates wound and sunburn healing
– prevents the formation of scars
– alleviates changes after insect bites
– inhibits the skin aging process
– prevents moisture loss through the skin
– Protects against free radicals and microorganisms
Chitozan in agriculture
– stimulates the natural immunity of plants in the fight against pathogens.
– stimulates root system development
– used in the form of spraying produces a kind of film on the plant to prevent excessive evaporation of water, as well as a barrier against pests.
– protects plants from stress.
In terms of chemical structure, it is a polysaccharide composed of many amino sugar molecules, connected to each other by β 1-4 bonds. This amino sugar is chitosamine (D-glucosamine), which is a derivative of D-glucose, in which the OH group in the second position has been substituted with an amino group (NH2). In comparison, cellulose is a polysaccharide composed of D-glucose molecules also linked by a β1-4 bond.
The term chitosan is used for compounds formed by deacetylation of chitin as a result of the action of concentrated alkali at elevated temperature, which leads to a gradual elimination of acetate groups and formation of free amino groups in the glycosidic rings of the biopolymer.
It is assumed that in its natural form chitin occurs in a partially acetylated form i.e. through OH or NH2 groups the acetyl group CH3-C=o is attached ( furda 1983).
Interestingly, despite its close affinity to cellulose, chitin does not occur in higher plants. However, it shows high biological activity in relation to it, e.g. increasing the resistance of plants to unfavourable environmental conditions, to fungal and bacterial infections.
Physical effects of humic acids:
– increase the water holding capacity of the soil and thus reduce the risk of drought,
– prevent soil cracking, surface water runoff and soil erosion by increasing the water binding capacity of colloids,
– improve structure, prevent water and nutrient loss in light sandy soils,
– loosen compact soils and improve their aeration,
– a darker soil color increases the absorption of solar energy.
Chemical action of humic acids:
– enrich the soil with mineral and organic substances,
– improve nutrient and water availability to plants,
– retains water-soluble mineral fertilizers in the root zone and reduces their leaching,
– acts as a natural chelating agent for metal ions in alkaline environments and facilitates their uptake by the root system,
– have a very high colloid exchange capacity, increase the conversion of nutrients (NPK and micronutrients) to plant-available forms,
– increase nitrogen uptake by the plant,
– help eliminate chlorosis caused by lack of iron,
– reduce the availability of toxic substances from the soil.
Biological effects of humic acids:
– act as organic catalysts for many biological processes.
– stimulate plant enzymes and increase their production,
– increase the natural resistance of plants to diseases and pests,
– stimulate root growth, especially vertical roots, thus increasing nutrient uptake,
– increase root respiration,
– support photosynthesis,
– increase seed germination and viability,
– stimulate growth and multiplication of beneficial soil microorganisms.