Chitin is a natural polysaccharide obtained from exoskeleton of shrimp\prawn, crab, lobster, other sources include cuttlebone and squid fin. Chitin is obtained through demineralization and deproteinization of shell waste at optimized process conditions. ICAR-CIFT has optimized process conditions for the development of chitin from shrimp\prawn processing waste. The technology converts processing discards to a highly value added byproducts. Roughly 7,000 tonnes of chitin can be produced from the prawn\shrimp processing waste resource available in India.

* Wash prawn\shrimp shell thoroughly with potable water and drain off the water.

* Treat the washed shrimp\prawn shell with hydrochloric acid at room temperature approximately for 2 hours to remove mineral contents

* Wash the residue with potable water to make it free of acid.

* Boil the acid treated residue (demineralized shell) in sodium hydroxide solution for approximately 30 minutes to remove protein content in the shells (deproteinization).

* Drain off the solution and wash the residue with potable water to make it free of alkali.

* Dry the residue either under sunlight or in a mechanical drier to get the chitin in flakes form.