Periodate oxidation of plant polysaccharides provides polysaccharide-specific oligosaccharides

Carolina O. Pandeirada, Max Achterweust, Hans Gerd Janssen, Yvonne Westphal, Henk A. Schols*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Although polysaccharides are frequently used in foods, detailed characterization and/or identification of their structures using a single method remains a challenge. We investigated the suitability of periodate oxidation as an approach to depolymerize polysaccharides, allowing characterization and/or identification of the original polysaccharides based on ESI-MS analyses of the released oligosaccharides. Various periodate oxidation conditions were tested on (arabino)xylan, galactomannan, xyloglucan and homogalacturonan. Each polysaccharide required a different oxidation condition to release a substantial level of oligosaccharides. These oligosaccharides had highly complex structures due to the presence of e.g., dialdehyde sugars, hemialdals, and remnants of (oxidized) sugars, as verified by ESI-MS/MS. Despite these oligosaccharides were highly complex and lost some polysaccharide structural features, each periodate-oxidized sample comprised polysaccharide structure-dependent MS oxidized oligosaccharide profiles. Our findings are a good starting point to find a more generic chemical polysaccharide depolymerization approach based on periodate oxidation to identify polysaccharides by oligosaccharides fingerprinting using MS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119540
JournalCarbohydrate Polymers
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022


  • Depolymerization
  • Oxidized oligosaccharide clusters
  • Periodate oxidation
  • Plant polysaccharides


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