Identification of plant polysaccharides by MALDI-TOF MS fingerprinting after periodate oxidation and thermal hydrolysis

Carolina O. Pandeirada, Jos A. Hageman, Hans Gerd Janssen, Yvonne Westphal, Henk A. Schols*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


An autoclave treatment at 121 °C on periodate-oxidized plant polysaccharides and mixes thereof was investigated for the release of oligosaccharides to obtain a generic polysaccharide depolymerization method for polysaccharides fingerprinting. Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time-Of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) analysis of the oligosaccharides released showed that each polysaccharide had a unique oligosaccharides profile, even the same type of polysaccharide derived from different sources and/or having different fine structures (e.g. class of (arabino)xylans, galactomannans, glucans, or pectic materials). Various polysaccharide classes present in a polysaccharide mix could be identified based on significantly different (p < 0.05) marker m/z values present in the mass spectrum. Principal component analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis of the obtained MALDI-TOF MS data highlighted the structural heterogeneity of the polysaccharides studied, and clustered polysaccharide samples with resembling oligosaccharide profiles. Our approach represents a step further towards a generic and accessible identification of plant polysaccharides individually or in a mixture.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119685
JournalCarbohydrate Polymers
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2022


  • Oxidized oligosaccharides
  • Periodate oxidation
  • Plant polysaccharides recognition


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