Helsingin yliopisto


Helsingin yliopiston verkkojulkaisut

University of Helsinki, Helsinki 2006

Structural analyses of (1->3),(1->4)-β-D-glucan of oats and barley

Liisa Johansson

Doctoral dissertation, April 2006.
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Department of Applied Chemistry and Microbiology.

The structures of (1→3),(1→4)-β-D-glucans of oat bran, whole-grain oats and barley and processed foods were analysed. Various methods of hydrolysis of β-glucan, the content of insoluble fibre of whole grains of oats and barley and the solution behaviour of oat and barley β-glucans were studied.

The isolated soluble β-glucans of oat bran and whole-grain oats and barley were hydrolysed with lichenase, an enzyme specific for (1→3),(1→4)-β-D-β-glucans. The amounts of oligosaccharides produced from bran were analysed with capillary electrophoresis and those from whole-grains with high-performance anion-exchange chromatography with pulse-amperometric detection. The main products were 3-O-β-cellobiosyl-D-glucose and 3-O-β-cellotriosyl-D-glucose, the oligosaccharides which have a degree of polymerisation denoted by DP3 and DP4. Small differences were detected between soluble and insoluble β-glucans and also between β-glucans of oats and barley. These differences can only be seen in the DP3:DP4 ratio which was higher for barley than for oat and also higher for insoluble than for soluble β-glucan. A greater proportion of barley β-glucan remained insoluble than of oat β-glucan. The molar masses of soluble β-glucans of oats and barley were the same as were those of insoluble β-glucans of oats and barley.

To analyse the effects of cooking, baking, fermentation and drying, β-glucan was isolated from porridge, bread and fermentate and also from their starting materials. More β-glucan was released after cooking and less after baking. Drying decreased the extractability for bread and fermentate but increased it for porridge.

Different hydrolysis methods of β-glucan were compared. Acid hydrolysis and the modified AOAC method gave similar results. The results of hydrolysis with lichenase gave higher recoveries than the other two. The combination of lichenase hydrolysis and high-performance anion-exchange chromatography with pulse-amperometric detection was found best for the analysis of β-glucan content.

The content of insoluble fibre was higher for barley than for oats and the amount of β-glucan in the insoluble fibre fraction was higher for oats than for barley.

The flow properties of both water and aqueous cuoxam solutions of oat and barley β-glucans were studied. Shear thinning was stronger for the water solutions of oat β-glucan than for barley β-glucan. In aqueous cuoxam shear thinning was not observed at the same concentration as in water but only with high concentration solutions. Then the viscosity of barley β-glucan was slightly higher than that of oat β-glucan. The oscillatory measurements showed that the crossover point of the G and G curves was much lower for barley β-glucan than for oat β-glucan indicating a higher tendency towards solid-like behaviour for barley β-glucan than for oat β-glucan.

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© University of Helsinki 2006

Last updated 28.03.2006

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