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Production of chitin and chitosan oligomers and their use as bioprotective agents in vegetable cultivation

Research project BL/V/23 (Research action BL)

Contract BL/12/V23 :

Duration of the contract :


Partners :

  • Vietnam National University 
  • Université de Liège 

Description :

Context and objectives

Agriculture is an important part in Vietnam development and economy. Around 60% of the Vietnamese population is engaged in agricultural activities. Meanwhile, in rural zones, there are more and more problems of poverty. Agriculture is still mostly a family business and therefore farming units are rather small entities. Each farmer produces in general a stable crop (mostly rice) and vegetables, the latter having a higher added value. However the quality of these vegetables is questionable, in particular because of the inappropriate use of chemical pesticides exposing farmers to chronic poisoning. The vegetables on the markets are often contaminated with unacceptable levels of pesticide residues causing every year poisoning of thousands Vietnamese consumers. Moreover intense use of pesticides is threatening exportation opportunities for vegetables from Vietnam. Therefore if the farmers would improve the quality of the produced vegetables, this will improve their socio-economical situation in a durable way. The objective of this project is to develop an alternative range of natural low cost biopesticides based on mixtures of chitin/chitosan oligomers produced from shrimp shells.


• Screening of the Vietnam Type Culture Collection (VTCC) for microorganisms secreting high chitinase activity and/or high chitin deacetylase activity
• Preparation of chitin and chitosan from shrimp shell waste. Use of these substrates for the production of oligomers with enzymatic preparations from VTCC selected microorganisms
• Characterization of oligomers produced by enzymatic way. Development and adaptation of methods for measuring the degree of polymerization (DP) and the degree of acetylation (DA)
• Antifungal activity and biological activity in planta
• Validation of the technology and scaling-up of the production
• Scientific exchanges and technology transfer

Documentation :

Production of chitin and chitosan oligomers and their use as bioprotective agents in vegetable cultivation : final report  Dommes, Jacques  Brussels : Federal Science Policy, 2013 (SP2567)
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