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Antimicrobial Activity of a Low-Molecular-Weight Chitosan Obtained from Cellulase Digestion of Chitosan

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A water-soluble chitosan hydrolysate with high activity against Escherichia coli was obtained during cellulase digestion of chitosan for 18 h. This 18-h hydrolysate is composed of low-molecular-weight chitosan (LMWC), with a molecular weight of 12.0 kDa, and chitooligosaccharides, which are composed of sugars with a degree of polymerization of 1 to 8. LMWC has a strong activity at 100 ppm against many pathogens and yeast species, including Bacillus cereus, E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, while the chitooligosaccharides have much weaker antimicrobial activity than does LMWC. Accordingly, the antimicrobial activity against E. coli in the 18-h hydrolysate proved to come mainly from the presence of LMWC.


Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: Department of Food Science, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung, Taiwan, Republic of China

Publication date: February 1, 2004

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