Antioxidant activity in α- and β-chitosan at a wide range of molecular weight (Mw) and chitosan concentration (CS) was determined by 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity, reducing ability, chelating ability, and hydroxyl radical scavenging activity. The form of chitosan (FC) had significant (P <0.05) effect on all measurements except DPPH radical scavenging activity, and antioxidant activity was dependent on Mw and CS. High Mw (280-300 kDa) of β-chitosan had extremely lower half maximal effective concentrations (EC(50)) than α-chitosan in DPPH radical scavenging activity and reducing ability. The 22-30 kDa of α- and β-chitosan showed significantly (P <0.05) higher activities in DPPH radical scavenging, reducing ability, and hydroxyl radical scavenging than samples at other Mw, while chelating ability was the highest in 4-5 kDa chitosan. CS had significant effect on all measurements and the effect was related to Mw. The antioxidant activity of 280-300 kDa chitosan was affected by coil-overlap concentrations (C(∗)) in the CS range of 4-10mg/mL, forming entanglements. Reducing ability and hydroxyl radical scavenging activity were more predominant action in antioxidant activity of chitosan as shown by the lower EC(50) values than those in other antioxidant measurements.
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