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Adv Carbohydr Chem Biochem. 2010;64:117-210. doi: 10.1016/S0065-2318(10)64004-8.

Chemical structure analysis of starch and cellulose derivatives.

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1
Technische Universität Braunschweig, Institute of Food Chemistry, Schleinitzstrasse 20, Braunschweig, Germany.

Abstract

Starch and cellulose are the most abundant and important representatives of renewable biomass. Since the mid-19th century their properties have been changed by chemical modification for commercial and scientific purposes, and there substituted polymers have found a wide range of applications. However, the inherent polydispersity and supramolecular organization of starch and cellulose cause the products resulting from their modification to display high complexity. Chemical composition analysis of these mixtures is therefore a challenging task. Detailed knowledge on substitution patterns is fundamental for understanding structure-property relationships in modified cellulose and starch, and thus also for the improvement of reproducibility and rational design of properties. Substitution patterns resulting from kinetically or thermodynamically controlled reactions show certain preferences for the three available hydroxyl functions in (1→4)-linked glucans. Spurlin, seventy years ago, was the first to describe this in an idealized model, and nowadays this model has been extended and related to the next hierarchical levels, namely, the substituent distribution in and over the polymer chains. This structural complexity, with its implications for data interpretation, and the analytical approaches developed for its investigation are outlined in this article. Strategies and methods for the determination of the average degree of substitution (DS), monomer composition, and substitution patterns at the polymer level are presented and discussed with respect to their limitations and interpretability. Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, chromatography, capillary electrophoresis, and modern mass spectrometry (MS), including tandem MS, are the main instrumental techniques employed, in combination with appropriate sample preparation by chemical and enzymatic methods.

PMID:
20837199
DOI:
10.1016/S0065-2318(10)64004-8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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