Chitin in the composition of mushrooms

Chitin is part of the shells of mollusks, found in the shells of crab, shrimp, lobster, and you can also find chitin in mushrooms (including microscopically small ones), yeast and some algae. He also participates in the formation of the external skeleton of insects (butterflies, ants, etc.)

Chitin in the composition of mushrooms

What it is

Chitin is a pinkish transparent substance that is bound to cellulose and is designated as a nitrogen-containing polysaccharide. Such an element is a strong natural sorbent, acts as the basis of the skeleton and the outer covers of insects, arachnids and crustaceans. Those. all those who in biology, and more precisely in zoology are attributed to arthropods.

The properties of the substance are extremely diverse - from use in medicine to use in agriculture.

Agricultural application

The content of chitin in the cell walls of fungi is quite high. Chitosan is obtained from chitin by autoproteolysis or autoenzymolysis. These methods of obtaining the necessary compounds are based on the use of an active enzyme complex of the raw material itself.

Chitin is widely used in agriculture and helps in the fight against root nematodes. However, the mechanism of its action is not well understood. This organic compound consists of polysaccharides, which are used by plants to nourish and build cell walls. Due to these properties, chitin is used to feed plants. This use is also due to antifungal properties, which make it possible to apply it in the agricultural and environmental sectors.

The substance is effective against root nematodes, and is also used to eliminate soil problems, prevents damage to the root systems of legumes by fungal microorganisms that cause root rot and lead to the death of beans.

The introduction of chitin into the soil, together with hemicellulose, reduces the toxicity of pesticides in the soil.

Effectiveness against root nematodes is achieved by enhancing the activity of bacteria and actinomycetes in the natural composition of the soil, which destroy the egg shells of parasites.

The use of chitin in tillage reduces the population of ectoparasitic nematodes in the soil itself and in the root systems of clover. Chitin helps eliminate gall nematodes, "living" on the roots of tomatoes in special formations - galls, and also reduces the number of phytonematodes that parasitize on many vegetable crops.

Irina Selyutina (Biologist):

Chitosans (especially low molecular weight), unlike their original product, are water-soluble forms. So, in the USA, the use of chitosan-based drugs is authorized by the Environmental Protection Agency. Some drugs based on chitosan can decompose with the release of ethylene gas, enhancing the effect of the drug itself. As a result, a powerful root system is formed, a larger number of grains and a more powerful stem develop. In addition, drugs stimulate plant resistance to stress (frost, drought, excess moisture). And also indirectly contributes to the fight against pathogens.

The substance is also suitable for combating fungal microorganisms in the soil. Chitosan protects plants from chemical reactions, has antiviral activity, inhibits the development of fungal spores, stimulates the germination of seeds in the soil, and helps the intensive growth of plants.

Substance deficiencies

The downside is the high consumption of pure substance. To reduce the nematode population, it is necessary to introduce more than 10 tons per hectare of plantings, so that the nematode population there is significantly reduced. Thus, it is best to use drugs that contain this substance.

The following chitin-based preparations are common in agricultural practice - Narcissus (50% chitosan, 20% glutamic acid and 30% succinic acid), Chitosars (chitosan + salicylic acid + potassium phosphate, chitosan + arachidonic acid), Agrohit (low molecular weight chitosan lactate). The difference between drugs and a pure substance is the deep penetration of polysaccharides into the soil and root system.

To combat parasites, you can use the drug "Klandozan."

Industrial use

Chitin in mushrooms has healing properties

Not only fertilizers and antiparasitic preparations contain chitin, but also many industrial compounds. It is a preservative for many products, helps preserve the taste and aroma of food.

In New Orleans agriculture, chitosan is used to preserve beef and preserve its freshness. In addition, the substance enhances the taste of food in a natural way, without changing the structure.

Irina Selyutina (Biologist):

In the food industry, chitosan has found its application due to its antimicrobial effect and absolute harmlessness. Thanks to these qualities, chitosan is considered an excellent raw material for the so-called. "Intelligent packaging of the new generation." The appeal of this new packaging material is that it can be eaten along with its contents.

Chitosan is also part of food films for wrapping ecological products. Due to this coating, products deteriorate much more slowly. Such packaging prevents the development of rot and fungal microorganisms.

Effect on the body

Due to the fact that the substance penetrates deeply into the root system of many plants, the question often arises - is chitin harmful to the human body?

The substance is absolutely safe and in no way violates the body's natural processes.

It is found in mushrooms, seafood and many medicines. The polysaccharide in the composition of the drug helps with atherosclerosis, obesity, intoxication of the body.

Chitin, which is part of mushrooms, has the following properties:

  • normalizes lipid metabolism;
  • cures dermatological ailments;
  • helps with allergies;
  • cures dermatitis;
  • helps with arthritis;
  • lowers blood pressure;
  • eliminates high cholesterol.

Chitosan is becoming increasingly popular. So, in medicine it is used for the manufacture of artificial skin, wound healing without scars, as a sutural self-absorbable hypoallergenic material.

The advantage of the substance content in the plants is the growth of bifidobacteria, strengthening of the intestinal mucosa, antitumor effect, elimination of toxins, slag masses, pathogenic enzymes from the body.


Chitin (and its derivatives) is an indispensable substance for the health of humans and animals. The polysaccharide is effective in the fight against many diseases, helps to preserve the freshness and taste of products, improves the taste of meat.

The main purpose of chitin is to use it in agriculture, namely - fertilizing plants, enriching the soil, combating parasites and pathogenic microorganisms.


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