Obtaining of astaxanthin from crab exosqueletons and shrimp head shells

Jorge Montiel Montoya, Salvador Velazco Mata, José Luis Acosta, Braulio Edgar Herrera Cabrera, Luis Germán López Valdez, César Reyes, Hebert Jair Barrales Cureño

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fresh wastes of Mexican headshell shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei), blue crab (Callinectes bellicosus), and Mexican brown crab (Callinectes sapidus) exoskeletons were autoclaved, dried, and grounded at a particle size of 150 µm. Macerated samples were diluted to ethyl acetate, acetone, cyclohexane, isopropyl alcohol, hexane, heptane, and a combination of hexane-acetone-ethanol-toluene solvents. High-Performance Liquid Chromatography analysis determined the astaxanthin amount in every organic solvent extract. Acetone was the most efficient solvent: 114 µg/g (L. vannamei), 39 µg/g (C. bellicosus), and 44 µg/g (C. sapidus); the mixture of hexane-acetone-ethanol-toluene resulted a idoneus solvent when was used on crab exoskeletons: 39 µg/g (C. bellicosus) and 51 µg/g (C. sapidus). The astaxanthin characterization was performed without saponification, in L. vannamei chromatograms, the amount of trans astaxanthin was 6.23 µg/g (5.47 % of total area), in C. bellicosus was 26.13 µg/g (67 % of total area) and in C. sapidus was 28.42 µg/g (64.6 % of total area).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13516-13523
Number of pages8
JournalBiointerface Research in Applied Chemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2021


  • Acetone extract
  • HPLC analysis
  • Saponification


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