Worldwide, millions of tons of crustaceans are produced every year and consumed as protein-rich seafood. However, the shells of the crustaceans and other non-edible parts constituting about half of the body mass are usually discarded as waste. These discarded crustacean shells are a prominent source of polysaccharide (chitin) and protein. Chitosan is a de-acetylated form of chitin obtained from the crustacean waste that has attracted attention for applications in food, biomedical, and paint industries due to its characteristic properties, like solubility in weak acids, film-forming ability, pH-sensitivity, biodegradability, and biocompatibility. We present an overview of the application of chitosan in composite coatings for applications in food, paint, and water treatment. In the context of food industries, the main focus is on fabrication and application of chitosan-based composite films and coatings for prolonging the post-harvest life of fruits and vegetables, whereas anti-corrosion and self-healing properties are the main properties considered for antifouling applications in paints in this review.
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