Determination of glucosamine via polarimetry

Glucosamine is used as a dietary supplement in the treatment of joint inflammation. In order to have high-quality products the optical rotation of glucosamine has to be analyzed via polarimetry.

Glucosamine is used as a joint supplement for the treatment of arthralgia and osteoarthritis. Glucosamine is one of the most abundant monosaccharides and found in high quantities in crustaceans like crabs and shrimps, in which it forms the backbone of the polysaccharide chitin. In humans and mammals, glucosamine is an essential component of connective tissue, cartilage or joint fluids. Glucosamine is a derivate of D-Glucose and is characterized by an amino group at the C-2-carbon. Therefore it is classified as an amino sugar.

The majority of glucosamine used for dietary or pharmaceutical purposes is derived from the crustacean polysaccharide chitin. Glucosamine-producing industries as well as glucosamine-processing plants, like pharmaceutical and nutritional companies, face the need to determine the purity and concentration of this amino sugar.

As glucosamine is a chiral substance, the concentration and purity of glucosamine in solution may be determined with polarimetry. Moreover, international pharmacopoeias such as the US Pharmacopoeia (USP) and the European Pharmacopoeia (EP) demand the determination of the optical rotation of glucosamine. 

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