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Int J Biol Macromol. 2003 Nov;33(1-3):1-7.

Potato starch granule nanostructure studied by high resolution non-contact AFM.

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Department of Chemistry, Agriculture University, Mickiewicz Avenue 21, Kraków 31-120, Poland.


Surface studies at ambient conditions of potato starch granules subjected to multiple freezing and thawing, performed by a high resolution non-contact atomic force microscopy (nc-AFM), revealed some details of the starch granule nanostructure. After the treatment, a significant separation and a chain-like organisation of the granule surface elements have been observed. An accurate analysis of the granule surface nanostructure with a single amylopectine cluster resolution could be carried out. The oblong nodules of approximately 20-50 nm in diameter have been observed at the surface of the potato starch granules. The same size particles were precipitated by ethanol from gelatinized potato starch suspensions. They were also detected at the surface of oat and wheat starch granules. After multiple freezing and thawing, the eroded potato granule surface revealed a lamellar structure of its interior. The 30-40 nm inter-lamellar distances were estimated by means of nc-AFM. These findings fit previously proposed dimensions of the structural elements in the crystalline region of the starch granule. The observed surface sub-particles might correspond to the single amylopectine side chain clusters bundled into larger blocklets packed in the lamellae within the starch granule. The results supported the blocklet model of the starch granule structure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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