Chitin (poly-β (1[RIGHTWARDS DOUBLE ARROW]4)-N-acetyl-D-glucosamine), chitosan (deacetylated chitin) and microcrystalline chitin (redispersible chitin powder) were compared with microcrystalline cellulose to examine the use of those cellulose-like biopolymers as functional additives for potential application in food formulations. Water binding, fat binding and emulsifying properties were studied. Baking tests were performed with 0.5–2.0% (flour basis) of microcrystalline chitin added to wheat flour bread or to potato protein fortified (8% potato protein concentrate) white bread. Water-binding capacity and fat binding capacity of chitin, chitosan and microcrystalline chitin ranged from 230–440s (w/w) and from 170–315% (w/w). Chitosan and chitin did not produce emulsions but microcrystalline chitin showed good emulsifying properties and was superior to microcrystalline cellulose. Increasing concentration of microcrystalline chitin (0.12–0.8 g/100 ml water) had a positive effect on emulsion stability. Addition of microcrystalline chitin increased specific loaf volume of white bread and protein fortified breads. Water addition of 65% (flour basis) was found to be optimum for “chitin breads.”