Submitted to: Industrial Crops and Products
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 9, 2012
Publication Date: January 9, 2012
Citation: Harry O Kuru, R.E., Mohamed, A., Xu, J. 2012. Chemical modification of Sicklepod (Senna obtusifolia L) polysaccharides and rheological characterization of the derivatives. Industrial Crops and Products. xx. Interpretive Summary: Sicklepod is a tropical leguminous plant species which, in subtropical Southeastern United States, infests soybean and other crop fields as a noxious weed. Although its growth as a weed could be mitigated by cultivation of “round-up-ready” soybeans, this weed has enormous potential as a prolific seed producer that could yield increased revenues for the farmer in that region if cultivated as an alternative crop. The weed seed contains unique gums, proteins and other non-food components that could be cleanly separated and marketed. In this project, we have separated the gums from the seed and converted some of these to new products in order to study their water holding behavior as compared to the unmodified gum. The results indicate that these gums can easily serve as hydrocolloid in food formulations and similar applications.
Technical Abstract: Sicklepod polysaccharide is a galactomannan that is water extractible. Its molecular mass, as estimated from the HPLC-GPC technique, is in the range of 25-27 kD. Partial esterification of the extracted polysaccharide with short chain dicarboxylates (adipoyl and succinoyl) substituents gave the respective ester derivatives. The rheology and thermal characteristics of these derivatives, vis-à-vis the starting sicklepod polysaccharide, were studied. The ultimate purpose was to explore suitability of this gum and its derivatives as possible components in food processing, and other relevant applications for this galactomannan that can be domestically produced in contrast to imported gums.