Enzymic quantification of (1→3) (1→4)-β-D-glucan in barley and malt.
McCleary, B. V. & Glennie-Holmes, M. (1985). Journal of the Institute of Brewing, 91(5), 285-295.
A simple and quantitative method for the determination of (1→3) (1→4)-β-D-glucan in barley flour and malt is described. The method allows direct analysis of β-glucan in flour and malt slurries. Mixed-linkage β-glucan is specifically depolymerized with a highly purified (1→3) (1→4)-β-D-glucanase (lichenase), from Bacillus subtilis, to tri-, tetra- and higher degree of polymerization (d.p.) oligosaccharides. These oligosaccharides are then specifically and quantitatively hydrolysed to glucose using purified β-D-glucosidase. The glucose is then specifically determined using glucose oxidase/peroxidase reagent. Since barley flours contain only low levels of glucose, and maltosaccharides do not interfere with the assay, removal of low d.p. sugars is not necessary. Blank values are determined for each sample allowing the direct measurement of β-glucan in malt samples. α-Amylase does not interfere with the assay. The method is suitable for the routine analysis of β-glucan in barley samples derived from breeding programs; 50 samples can be analysed by a single operator in a day. Evaluation of the technique on different days has indicated a mean standard error of 0–1 for barley flour samples containing 3–8 and 4–6% (w/w) β-glucan content.
Measurement of (1→3)(1→4)-β-D-glucan in malt, wort and beer.
McCleary, B. V. & Nurthen, E. (1986). Journal of the Institute of Brewing, 92(2), 168-173.
A method developed for the quantification of (1→3)(1→4)-β-D-glucan in barley flour has been modified to allow its use in the measurement of this component in malt, wort, beer and spent grain. For malt samples, free D-glucose was first removed with aqueous ethanol. Quantification of the polymer in wort and beer samples involved precipitation of the β-glucan with ammonium sulphate followed by washing with aqueous ethanol to remove free D-glucose. Spent grain was lyophilised and milled and then analysed by the method developed for malt. In all cases, the β-glucan was depolymerised with lichenase and the resultant β-gluco-oligosaccharides hydrolysed to D-glucose with β-D-glucosidase. The released D-glucose was then specifically determined using glucose oxidase-peroxidase reagent.
Enzymic hydrolysis and industrial importance of barley β-glucans and wheat flour pentosans.
McCleary, B. V., Gibson, T. S., Allen, H. & Gams, T. C. (1986). Starch-Starke, 38(12), 433-437.
Mixed linkage β-glucane and pentosanes (mainly arabinoxylanes) are the major endosperm cell-wall polysaccharides of barley and wheat respectively. These polysaccharides, although minor components of the whole grain, significantly affect the industrial utilization of these cereals. The modification of barley corns during malting requires the dissolution of the β-glucane in the cell-wall of the starch endosperm. High β-glucane concentration in wort and beer effect the rate of filtration and can also lead to precipitate or gel formation in the final product. In a similar manner, pentosane is thought to cause filtration problems with wheat starch hydrolysates by increasing viscosity and by producing gelatinous precipitate which blocks filters. Ironically, it is this same viscosity building and water binding capacity which is considered to render pentosanes of considerable value in dough development and bread storage (anti-staling functions). In the current paper, some aspects of the beneficial and detrimental effects of pentosanes and β-glucane in the industrial utilization of wheat and barley are discussed. More specifically, enzymic methods for the preparation, analysis and identification of these polysaccharides and for the removal of their functional properties, are described in detail.
Measurement of (1→3),(1→4)-β-D-glucan in barley and oats: A streamlined enzymic procedure.
McCleary, B. V. & Codd, R. (1991). Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 55(2), 303-312.
A commercially available enzymic method for the quantitative measurement of (1→3),(1→4)-β-glucan has been simplified to allow analysis of up to 10 grain samples in 70 min or of 100–200 samples by a single operator in a day. These improvements have been achieved with no loss in accuracy or precision and with an increase in reliability. The glucose oxidase/peroxidase reagent has been significantly improved to ensure colour stability for periods of up to 1 h after development. Some problems experienced with the original method have been addressed and resolved, and further experiments to demonstrate the quantitative nature of the assay have been designed and performed.
In Vitro fermentation of oat and barley derived β-glucans by human faecal microbiota.
Hughes, S. A., Shewry, P. R., Gibson, G. R., McCleary, B. V. & Rastall, R. A. (2008). FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 64(3), 482–493.
Fermentation of β-glucan fractions from barley [average molecular mass (MM), of 243, 172, and 137 kDa] and oats (average MM of 230 and 150 kDa) by the human faecal microbiota was investigated. Fractions were supplemented to pH-controlled anaerobic batch culture fermenters inoculated with human faecal samples from three donors, in triplicate, for each substrate. Microbiota changes were monitored by fluorescent in situ hybridization; groups enumerated were: Bifidobacterium genus, Bacteroides and Prevotella group, Clostridium histolyticum subgroup, Ruminococcus-Eubacterium-Clostridium (REC) cluster, Lactobacillus-Enterococcus group, Atopobium cluster, and clostridial cluster IX. Short-chain fatty acids and lactic acid were measured by HPLC. The C. histolyticum subgroup increased significantly in all vessels and clostridial cluster IX maintained high populations with all fractions. The Bacteroides-Prevotella group increased with all but the 243-kDa barley and 230-kDa oat substrates. In general β-glucans displayed no apparent prebiotic potential. The SCFA profile (51 : 32 : 17; acetate : propionate : butyrate) was considered propionate-rich. In a further study a β-glucan oligosaccharide fraction was produced with a degree of polymerization of 3-4. This fraction was supplemented to small-scale faecal batch cultures and gave significant increases in the Lactobacillus-Enterococcus group; however, the prebiotic potential of this fraction was marginal compared with that of inulin.
Complete genome of a new Firmicutes species belonging to the dominant human colonic microbiota (‘Ruminococcus bicirculans’) reveals two chromosomes and a selective capacity to utilize plant glucans.
Wegmann, U., Louis, P., Goesmann, A., Henrissat, B., Duncan, S. H. & Flint, H. J. (2014). Environmental Microbiology, 16(9), 2879–2890.
The recently isolated bacterial strain 80/3 represents one of the most abundant 16S rRNA phylotypes detected in the healthy human large intestine and belongs to the Ruminococcaceae family of Firmicutes. The completed genome sequence reported here is the first for a member of this important family of bacteria from the human colon. The genome comprises two large chromosomes of 2.24 and 0.73 Mbp, leading us to propose the name Ruminococcus bicirculans for this new species. Analysis of the carbohydrate active enzyme complement suggests an ability to utilize certain hemicelluloses, especially β-glucans and xyloglucan, for growth that was confirmed experimentally. The enzymatic machinery enabling the degradation of cellulose and xylan by related cellulolytic ruminococci is however lacking in this species. While the genome indicated the capacity to synthesize purines, pyrimidines and all 20 amino acids, only genes for the synthesis of nicotinate, NAD+, NADP+ and coenzyme A were detected among the essential vitamins and co-factors, resulting in multiple growth requirements. In vivo, these growth factors must be supplied from the diet, host or other gut microorganisms. Other features of ecological interest include two type IV pilins, multiple extracytoplasmic function-sigma factors, a urease and a bile salt hydrolase.
Structural basis for entropy-driven cellulose binding by a type-A cellulose-binding module (CBM) and bacterial expansin.
Georgelis, N., Yennawar, N. H. & Cosgrove, D. J. (2012). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(37), 14830-14835.
Components of modular cellulases, type-A cellulose-binding modules (CBMs) bind to crystalline cellulose and enhance enzyme effectiveness, but structural details of the interaction are uncertain. We analyzed cellulose binding by EXLX1, a bacterial expansin with ability to loosen plant cell walls and whose domain D2 has type-A CBM characteristics. EXLX1 strongly binds to crystalline cellulose via D2, whereas its affinity for soluble cellooligosaccharides is weak. Calorimetry indicated cellulose binding was largely entropically driven. We solved the crystal structures of EXLX1 complexed with cellulose-like oligosaccharides to find that EXLX1 binds the ligands through hydrophobic interactions of three linearly arranged aromatic residues in D2. The crystal structures revealed a unique form of ligand-mediated dimerization, with the oligosaccharide sandwiched between two D2 domains in opposite polarity. This report clarifies the molecular target of expansin and the specific molecular interactions of a type-A CBM with cellulose.
In vitro fermentation kinetics and end-products of cereal arabinoxylans and (1,3;1,4)-β-glucans by porcine faeces.
Williams, B. A., Mikkelsen, D., Le Paih, L. & Gidley, M. J. (2011). Journal of Cereal Science, 53(1), 53-58.
Purified and semi-purified polysaccharides characteristic of cereals were fermented in vitro with a pig faecal inoculum, using the cumulative gas production technique, to examine the kinetics and end-products of fermentation after 48 h. It was shown that arabinoxylan and mixed linkage (1,3;1,4) β-glucan were rapidly fermented if soluble, while less soluble substrates (insoluble arabinoxylan, maize and wheat starch granules, and bacterial cellulose) were more slowly fermented. Relevant monosaccharides were fermented at very similar rates to soluble polymeric arabinoxylan and β-glucan, showing that depolymerisation was not a limiting step, in contrast to some previous studies. Bacterial cellulose is shown to be a useful model substrate for fermentation of plant cellulose which is difficult to obtain without harsh chemical treatments. Fermentation end-products were related to kinetics, with slow carbohydrate fermentation resulting in increased protein fermentation. Ratios of short-chain fatty acid products were similar for all arabinoxylan and β-glucan substrates.
Distinction of fungal polysaccharides by N/C ratio and mid infrared spectroscopy.
Gomba, G. K., Synytsya, A., Švecová, P., Coimbra, M. A. & Čopíková, J. (2015). International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 80, 271-281.
A set of fungal polysaccharide samples was characterised by elemental analysis and FTIR spectroscopy and compared with reference chitins, chitosans and β-D-glucans. The nitrogen to carbon (N/C) values and FTIR spectra were used to compare the samples based on their composition. It was found that the N/C ratio correlates well with deacetylation degree (DD) of chitosans and chitin/glucan ratio Rchit of fungal chitin – β-D-glucan complexes with the exception of some samples having significant nitrogen and/or carbon admixtures. FTIR spectroscopy was indicative for the N-acetylation of chitins (chitosans) as well as for the chitin (chitosan) contribution to fungal polysaccharide preparations. Multivariate analyses of the FTIR data (HCA, PCA) discriminated samples and reference materials into several clusters depending on their similarity. Chitosan lactates, chitosan – β-D-glucans and chitin – β-D-glucans of high and low amounts of chitin were successfully discriminated from the reference polysaccharides and from each other. The proposed procedures based on the N/C ratio and multivariate analyses of FTIR spectra may be used in screening fungal polysaccharide preparations.
Effects of in vitro fermentation of barley β‐glucan and sugar beet pectin using human fecal inocula on cytokine expression by dendritic cells.
Rösch, C., Taverne, N., Venema, K., Gruppen, H., Wells, J. M. & Schols, H. A. (2017). Molecular nutrition & Food Research, 61(1).
Scope: This study simulates the fermentation process of barley β-glucan and sugar beet pectin in the human colon and monitors the degradation products formed. Additionally, immune effects of the degradation products were investigated. Methods and results: Immunostimulatory activity of fermentation digesta was investigated using bone marrow derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) from toll-like receptor 2/4 (TLR2/4) knockout mice, which were unresponsive to microbe-associated molecular patterns. Cytokine responses were elicited to dietary fibers and not to the SCFA and microbiota. The fermentation digesta were analyzed for their SCFA profiles and glycan metabolites over time. During fermentation the amount of insoluble precipitating fibers increased and induced as well as soluble molecules of lower molecular mass greater amounts of cytokines in BMDCs than the parental fiber. Additionally, high amounts of cytokines can be attributed to soluble galactose-rich beet pectin molecules. Conclusions: The fermentation of the two fibers led to fiber-specific amounts of SCFA, glycosidic metabolites, and different immunomodulatory properties. BMDC from TLR2/4 knockout mice did not respond to the digest microbiota and SCFA, making it a useful approach to study temporal effects of fermentation on the immunomodulatory effects of fibers.
In vitro fermentation of beta-glucans and other selected carbohydrates by infant fecal inoculum: An evaluation of their potential as prebiotics in infant formula.
Lam, K. L., Keung, H. Y., Ko, K. C., Kwan, H. S. & Cheung, P. C. K. (2017). Bioactive Carbohydrates and Dietary Fibre, In Press.
Prebiotics are being added to infant formula in order to mimic the effects of human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) for the growth of probiotic bacteria especially bifidobacteria and lactobacilli in the infant gut. This preliminary study compares the in vitro fermentation of 13 different carbohydrates including monosaccharides, disaccharides, oligosaccharides and polysaccharides by infant fecal samples collected from 3-month old breast-milk fed babies. The growth of the total anaerobic bacteria and two probiotic bacteria (bifidobacteria and lactobacilli) during the fermentation period was measured by total plate count (TPC) and was expressed as colony forming units (CFUs). Among other things, beta-glucans seem to selectively enhance the growth of lactobacilli for a longer period of fermentation time than most of the carbohydrates tested. The selective enrichment of the probiotic bacteria by these carbohydrates and their potential use as prebiotics in the infant formula are discussed.
Is beer a source of prebiotics?.
Kanyer, A. J., Bornhorst, G. M., Marco, M. L. & Bamforth, C. W. (2017). Journal of the Institute of Brewing, 123(3), 361-365.
Beer contains low-molecular-weight β-linked oligosaccharides that originate from the degradation of β-glucan in the barley cell wall during malting and mashing. Over 90% of these oligosaccharides contain three or four glucosyl units. They remain intact through a static oral, gastric and small intestinal in vitro human digestive system model, indicating that they should be available to beneficial organisms known to be present in the human large intestine. Several intestine-associated Lactobacillus strains were shown to be capable of growth on these β-linked oligosaccharides, thereby leading us to tentatively propose that these compounds may represent prebiotics.