Shrimp heads from the shrimp processing industry in Vietnam

Update: 9/26/2014

Vietnam is a major exporter of shrimp to the world market thanks to a rise in shrimp aquaculture farming in recent years. The average annual shrimp export from 2005 to 2008 is over 160 thousand metric tons, worth approximately US$ 1.5 billion/year. Shrimp is usually processed to obtain shrimp meat for export. The 35 – 45% leftovers are shells and heads considered as by-products.

Shrimp heads from the shrimp processing industry in Vietnam can be a good source for production of bioactive compounds. It is estimated that there is an amount of 200,000 metric tons of shrimp by-products annually from two main species: black tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) and white shrimp (Penaeus vannamei). We found that the shrimp by-products can be used as raw materials for extraction of chitosan and lipid-mineral-rich carotenoprotein by combining chemical and biological treatment.

As a result, shrimp processing leads to massive amounts of shrimp biowaste, estimated to be more than 200,000 metric tons (wet weight) per year. The major components of the shrimp by-products are protein, chitin (deacetylated chitosan), lipid, minerals. It contains also a small amount of valuable carotenoids. Chitosan, a valuable bioactive compound, has widely used in food, agriculture, biotechnology, cosmetics, medicine and waste treatment(1,2). Other components from shrimp processing waste are minerals, lipid and carotenoprotein that have been widely used as functional ingredients in food and aquafeed(3,4).

Currently shrimp heads in Vietnam is mainly used for in chitin recovery and very limited amount used for chitosan production. The other bioactive conponents such as carotenoprotein, minerals (mainly calcium), lipid have not been recovered and just run out to the wastewater system.

This impropreate treatment has not only reached to the efficient utilization of the shrimp by-products but also led to the big environmental issues  caused by this treatment. Shrimp heads in order to achieve better utilization of shrimp by-products can process for extraction of chitosan and lipid-mineral-rich carotenoprotein to produce bioactive compounds.



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