Comparison of xanthans by the relative abundance of its six constituent repeating units

M.M. Kool, H. Gruppen, G. Sworn, H.A. Schols

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Five xanthans were hydrolyzed to their repeating units using cellulases. Hydrophilic interaction chromatography with online electrospray ionization ion trap mass spectrometry and evaporative light scattering detection was used to analyze the oligomers released. It was concluded that six different pentamer repeating units (RUs) exists within a xanthan sample. The most abundant RU shows acetylation on the inner mannose and pyruvylation on the outer mannose. The second most abundant RU shows acetylation on both the inner and the outer mannose. It becomes clear that more variations in the xanthan structure exist than generally recognized. Comparison of five different xanthan samples revealed that, although the molecular composition of xanthan samples can be exactly the same, the ratio in which the RUs occur can differ significantly. It is, therefore, concluded that xanthan samples should be characterized for both, their molecular composition and the relative abundance of the RUs present
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)914-921
JournalCarbohydrate Polymers
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • xanthomonas-campestris
  • rheological properties
  • pyruvate content
  • polysaccharide
  • gum
  • acetyl
  • chromatography
  • hydrolysis
  • transition


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