Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

An efficient method to determine molecular weight of cereal beta-glucan and information about the effect of bread-making on molecular weight distribution and structure of the beta-glucan

A system for detection of beta-glucan molecular weight in extracts from cereal products was developed. The system includes high-performance size-exclusion chromatography with detection based on specific binding of Calcofluor to beta-glucan. Fractions of beta-glucan with a narrow molecular weight distribution were used to calibrate the system. Inactivation of endogenous beta-glucanases was a crucial step in the analysis. Weight average molecular weight for molecules with a weight greater than 20,000 dalton and molecular weight distribution were determined.

Molecular weight and structure units of beta-glucan in dough and bread made from hull-less barley/wheat flour were studied. Only small differences in molecular weight distribution and structure units of milling fractions from barley were detected. During bread making the molecular weight of the beta-glucan was reduced and the molecular weight distribution was polymodal, indicating an enzymatic degradation of the molecular weight. To retain high molecular weight of the beta-glucan in the bread, which is important for the cholesterol-lowering effect of the beta-glucan, it is important to keep the mixing and fermentation times as short as possible when baking the bread.

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