Fermentation characteristics of polysaccharide fractions extracted from the cell walls of maize endosperm

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

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15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cell walls were extracted from maize endosperm and separated into different polysaccharide fractions by sequential extraction with solutions of saturated Ba(OH)2, demineralised water and 1 and 4 M KOH. Solubilised polysaccharides were collected after each extraction. Residues were collected following the extractions with demineralised water and 1 and 4 M KOH. The original cell wall (CW) material, extracts and residues were analysed for their fermentation characteristics using an in vitro cumulative gas production technique. The rate of fermentation of the alkali-treated residues was faster than that of the original CW material, except for the 4 M KOH residue, which had a similar rate of degradation to the original CW material. The polysaccharides solubilised from the cell wall (extracts) were all rapidly fermented, more rapidly than both CW and residues. A division of the gas production profile into two phases using curve fitting was in good agreement with a division of the cell wall fermentation into the fermentation of arabinoxylans and cellulose. Therefore the likelihood of preferential degradation of arabinoxylans from the maize cell wall was discussed. The volatile fatty acid production pattern was fairly well explained by the fermentation rate and composition of the substrates. It was concluded that breaking the interactions of polysaccharides in the maize cell wall by mild alkali extraction increases the fermentability of maize cell walls in the gastrointestinal tract of farm animals. Contrarily, more severe alkali extractions will reduce the fermentability of maize cell walls
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1369-1375
JournalJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Volume82
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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