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Crab Shell-derived Fiber-containing Cosmetic Product Developed by Tottori University Goes on the Market in Japan

 Tottori Prefecture is famous for the best landing of crabs in Japan. In the prefecture, efforts have been made to promote efficient use of crab shells, all of which would normally be discarded. In this environment, there is a growing trend to establish a new business model using these crab shells.
 Dr. Shinsuke Ifuku, associate professor at Tottori University, has developed a unique technique for low-cost mass production of chitin nanofiber from crab shells. This chitin nanofiber has been added to moisturizing lotion for dehydrated sensitive skin. The new moisturizing lotion has been produced on a commercial basis.
 In the past, chitin has been generally been available in powder form. Because chitin powder is insoluble in water, it cannot be used easily for various purposes. Chitin fiber, however, dissolves uniformly in water so can be jellified and added to cosmetic products and foods. Chitin fiber can thus be applied to the manufacturing of various products.
 Suhada Shizuku Uruoi Milk (skin moisturizing milky dew) is the first commercialized product. On September 7, Asahi Food & Healthcare Co., Ltd. in Tokyo released this cosmetic product throughout Japan. The skin lotion containing chitin nanofiber as an effective moisturizing ingredient gently protects the skin from dryness and external irritation.
 Subsequent studies have revealed that chitin nanofiber is also effective in preventing obesity, controlling inflammation and regulating the functions of the intestines. Furthermore, chitin nanofiber can be added to plastics and fibers to enhance their strength.
 Associate Professor Ifuku said, “I would like to further promote commercialization of chitin nanofiber so that an increasing number of new local industries are created in Tottori.”

 
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Associate Professor
Shinsuke Ifuku
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Electron micrograph of chitin nanofiber
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Suhada Shizuku Uruoi Milk
(skin moisturizing milky dew)
 
Contact : Marine Nanofiber Division, Organization for Regional Industrial Academic Cooperation, Tottori University
Phone or E-mail +81-857-31-6716
Website http://www3.cjrd.tottori-u.ac.jp/nanofiber/