Fermentation characteristics of polysaccharide fractions extracted from the cell walls of soya bean cotyledons

H. van Laar, S. Tamminga, B.A. Williams, M.W.A. Verstegen, H.A. Schols

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Full-fat soya beans were separated into hulls and cotyledons. After separation the cell wall fraction was extracted from the cotyledons. These purified cell walls were sequentially extracted with 0.05 M cyclohexane-trans-1,2-diamine-N,N,N ,N -tetraacetate (CDTA) 0.05 M NH4 oxalate (extract 1), 0.05 M NaOH (extract 2), 1 M KOH (extract 3) and 4 M KOH (extract 4) to fractionate the cell wall into its polysaccharide fractions. The extraction procedure was designed to first extract the pectic fraction (extracts 1 and 2), after which more hemicellulose was extracted in subsequent steps (extracts 3 and 4). In addition to the polysaccharides solubilised during extraction, the residues after each extraction step were collected. Extracts and residues were analysed for their fermentation characteristics using an in vitro gas production procedure. Fermentability of the sequential extracts increased for each subsequent extraction step, as witnessed by an increasing rate of fermentation (from 2.2 to 10.0␑-1) and decreasing half-time of gas production (from 56.0 to 18.7 h). Fermentability of the residues increased after pectins had been removed in the first two extraction steps, as witnessed by a shorter half-time of gas production (from 47.0 to 29.7 h). Fermentability was similar for residues 2 and 3, but decreased again for residue 4, which was deemed to consist mainly of cellulose. The different cell wall sugars were degraded at different rates, with a rapid rate of degradation for galactose and arabinose, an intermediate rate for xylose and uronic acids and a slow rate for glucose. The sugar degradation rates for extract 1 had a similar ranking. These results are discussed in light of the concept that pectins determine the pore size of the cell wall matrix (Carpita NC and Gibeant DM, Planta J3: 1-30 (1993) and the model of the cell wall architecture of legumes of Hatfield (Hatfield RD, in Forage Cell Wall Structure and Digestibility, Ed by Jung HG, Buxton DR, Hatfield RD and Ralph J. American Society of Agronomy/Crop Science Society of America/Soil Science Society of America, Madison, WI, pp 285-313 (1993)).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1477-1485
JournalJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Cell walls
  • Fermentation
  • Gas production
  • Polysaccharides
  • Soya beans


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