Chitin (β (1°4)-N-acetyl-D-glucosamine) and chitosan (deacetylated chitin) are currently available in large quantities as waste products and by-products of the shellfish industry. Their potential as carriers for food additives was studied. Significant correlations were found between dye concentration ranging from 0.2–1.6 mg dye (FD&C Red No. 40) per g chitin or chitosan and dye-binding capacity of chitin or chitosan. Within a pH range of 2.0–7.0, dye-binding capacity of chitin was stable. Chitosan gelled below a pH of 5.5 and could not be evaluated but its dye-binding capacity was constant between pH 7.0 and 5.5. Above pH 7.0 dye-binding capacity decreased for chitin as well as for chitosan but between pH 2.0 and 6.0 no dye was released from dyed chitin containing 0.77 mg dye/g chitin.