Submitted to: Carbohydrate Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/20/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Sugar beet pectins are used quite extensively in the food industry. Unlike apple pectins, sugar beet pectins contain ferulic acid. We have recently demonstrated that ferulic acid has a remarkable ability to cross-link polysaccharides, causing significant property changes in those polysaccharides. It was of interest to our collaborators in the Dept. of Food Science, Wageningen Agricultural University, the Netherlands, to determine if cross-linking could be enhanced. Indeed, cross-linking was increased by a simple process, producing pectins that were more viscous and had superior gelling capability. The ability to simply affect the gelling properties of sugar beet pectins my lead to new uses in the food industry.
Technical Abstract: Pectins isolated from sugar beet contain significant amounts of ferulic acid. Treatment with ammonium persulfate or peroxide/peroxidase increased the viscosity and gelling. The latter treatment reduced the ferulate monomer level from 10.82 to 6.00 mg/g, indicating that about 45% of the ferulate was involved in oxidative coupling reactions. The ferulate dimers were measured; the 8-O-4 coupled dimer increased four-fold, the 5-5 three- fold, and the 8-8 nearly two-fold. Cross-linking of the arabinan and galactan side-chains by ferulate dehydrodimers was directly responsible for the increased viscosity and gelling of peroxide/peroxidase treated pectins.