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ABSTRACT

A process was conceptualized for bioconversion of shellfish chitin wastes to single-cell protein of value in animal or aquaculture feed formulations or to other products. An extracellular chitinase enzyme system obtained by a submerged culture of microorganisms is contacted with the chitin waste, hydrolyzing it to smaller sugar units. The hydrolysate is converted to a marketable product. Experimental results indicate that Serratia marcescens QMB1466 is suitable for use in the proposed process. Hydrolysis of various chitinous waste preparations shows the culture filtrate to be effective in decomposing the substrate. For crude preparations, hydrolysis slows after approximately 40 hr. Colloidal chitin is almost completely dissolved after 60 hr.