Land-based shrimp farmer Tru Shrimp selects distributor for chitosan products

A Tru Shrimp employee with four shrimp in a laboratory setting.

Balaton, Minnesota, U.S.A.-based Tru Shrimp has selected Hawkins, Inc. as the exclusive distributor of its chitosan products in the U.S. pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

Tru Shrimp originally started as a division of agriculture firm Ralco Nutrition in 2014 but became its own company before ultimately announcing its plans to establish land-based shrimp farms. The company introduced its chitosan brand, Tru Chitosan, in 2022 with the goal of capitalizing on every part of a shrimp. 

“From the inception of Tru Shrimp, we have pursued the production of chitosan from the shells and peels of our shrimp,” Tru Shrimp President and CEO Michael Ziebell said. “Tru Chitosan is the result of the vision and work of our team and partners. We are honored to have a company with the certifications and reputation of Hawkins representing Tru Chitosan to the medical industry.”

Early on in the company’s development, Ziebell told SeafoodSource in an interview that it realized the potential of its shrimp grown in near laboratory-controlled conditions. The quality of the product, Ziebell said, made it a fit for medical applications, and the company ultimately worked to gain U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for its product.

Now, Tru Shrimp is the only U.S. producer of chitosan that meets the medical specifications of the United States Pharmacopoeia – National Formulary (USP-NF) monograph, the company said.

That certification was part of what originally peaked Hawkins's interest in Tru Shrimp and its chitosan product. 

“From our first introduction, we were impressed by the quality standards set by Tru Chitosan,” Hawkins Pharmaceutical Sales Manager Chris Meyer said in a release. “Its products meet the quality and regulatory standards our customer base demands.”

The new arrangement will now see Hawkins, a Roseville, Minnesota, U.S.A.-based custom manufacturer of high-purity production chemicals in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, distribute all of Tru Shrimp’s chitosan products, the companies said.

“We are excited to be able to provide Tru Chitosan products to our customer base,” Meyer said. “Chitosan is a heavily researched biomaterial by the medical industry ... [and] a versatile molecule with multiple uses, including topical and internal medicine as well as medical device applications.”

Photo courtesy of Tru Shrimp


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