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Aquaculture

1. Impact to production performance

Experiment indicates that chitosan can promote the growth of grass and fish. The weight gain rate of grass carp in the chitosan group increases to 56.6%, 72.8% and 65.5% compared with the 0.25%, 0.50% and 1.00% of the basic ration group. The feeding coefficient of grass carp can also be affected by adding chitosan of different concentrations. Compared with basic ration group, the feeding coefficient of chitosan group (0.25% and 0.50%) reduces by 8.4% and 1%. The feeding coefficient of the chitosan group is higher than that of other groups significantly.

2. Impact on fat indigestion and metabolism  

The content of lipid in the liver produces a direct impact on the health of liver and organism. Chitosan will raise the efficiency of the fat metabolism of animal livers as well as the liver vitality and meanwhile reduce the fat content of liver and the incidence of hepatopathy.

3. Impact on nonspecific immunity

A. Chitosan is a type of polymer with multiple active groups and can serve as immunopotentiator to activate the non-specific immune system. Chitosan is also a positive chemotactic agent and the amidogen in its molecular structure can be identified by the human immune system and absorb the monocytes drifted from blood vessels, which will accumulate in the tissue before macrophages are formed. 

B. Produce direct stipulation to the local tissue to accelerate cell proliferation, which will evolve into macrophages before being activated. As a result, the local tissue will have higher phagocytic ability to directly kill the organisms in the cells and the differentiated cells, so that its immunity is increased (Liu Jinhai, 2010). 

C. As the chitosan can absorb H+, it carries a large quantity of NH3+ which raises its affinity, activates macrophages and improves its phagocytic ability.

D. Chitosan may activate the T lymphocytes and promote them to release various lymphokines.

4. Impact to immune organs

The spleen of bony fish plays a key role in hematopoiesis and immunoreaction.  Spleen is the main organ for the generation, storage and maturity of red blood cells, neutrophils, and granulocytes. The variation of its quality is closely connected with the state of human immunity.

5. Bacteriostatic action and impact to intestinal tracts of animals

The increased height of the wrinkles of intestinal tracts increases the intestinal tracts’ contact area with food and therefore further raises the ability in digestive absorption of food. The increased thickness of the intestinal muscularis enhances the segmentation and swing of intestinal tract and promotes the digestion of food in intestinal tracts and the emptying of intestinal tract, thus enhancing the digestive absorption of the nutrient substances in the intestinal tracts. Experiments indicate that chitosan will greatly increase the height of the wrinkles of the mucous membrane of the grass carp’s foregut and midgut. But it will not produce remarkable impact on the height of the wrinkles of the mucous membrane of the hindgut. Chitosan will greatly increase the total thickness of the intrinsic membranae propria and the submucosa of the grass carp’s foregut and midgut, but will not produce remarkable impact on the  intrinsic membranae propria and the submucosa of the hindgut. Chitosan will greatly increase the muscle thickness of the grass carp’s midgut but will not produce remarkable impact on the muscle thickness of hindgut.

6. Impact on meat quality

Chitosan can raise the content of protein in muscles. It may probably reduce the content of fat in muscles and thus raise the content of protein. That is because the ammonium polymer chains in chitosan possess quadrivalent ammonium ions which are highly capable in anion exchange and thus can bond with bile acid, prevent the bile acid from cycling, and reduce fat absorption. In this way, it helps relieve the hepatopancreas from detoxication, avoid supplementary hyperplasia in the grass carp’s hepatopancreas, bring down fat absorption as well as lead to the reduction of the content of muscle fat to some extent.

7. Impact on digestive enzyme

After entering organisms, the chitosan in rare earth-chitosan chelate is degraded into oligosaccharide through metabolism, thus enhancing biological activity, facilitating improving the microecosystem in organisms and possibly producing positive impact on the enzyme system of organisms.

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