I'm currently doing a project on measuring the fungal biomass of Aspergillus oryzae grown on soybeans. I've done some study on the approach to determine the fungal growth. The most common way other than HPLC I found is using MBTH colorimetric assay which can turn glucosamine into a blue-green colour solution. So, I need to convert the chitin in the fungal cell wall into glucosamine in order to measure glucosamine content.
But, I found quite a lot of different approaches to breakdown the chitin into glucosamine. The most common of all is using concentrated HCl (heat at or near boiling point for 16 hours) which I'm intending to do. But, some journals say that the biomass need to be pre-treated with NaOH (heat for few hours) before being treated with HCl in order to hydrolyze protein and glucans in the biomass which will interfere with the colorimetric assay.
Is it so? Why cant I just add the concentrated acid to hydrolyze the proteins and glycans? It would save a lot of time then.