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Rheological Studies Of Barley (1→3)(1→4)-β-glucan In Concentrated Solution: Mechanistic And Kinetic Investigation Of The Gel Formation
Published 1999 · Chemistry
Abstract The gelation of concentrated barley (1→3)(1→4)-β-glucan solutions was investigated. The gelation rate was quantified by a novel parameter called the elasticity increment I E , accessible via oscillatory time experiments. Decreasing molar mass and increasing concentration proved to raise the gelation rate. Despite a very similar plateau storage modulus G ′ p of the final gels for a given concentration, the mechanical stability increases with increasing molar mass. Oat β-glucan and lichenan, both (1→3)(1→4)-β-glucans, are also able to form solid gels. The turbidity, syneresis, melting temperature of the gels and the gelation rate increase in the order oat β-glucan, barley β-glucan and lichenan, indicating an increasing extent of the junction zones. Examination of the fine structure revealed the most regular chain structure for lichenan, with cellotriose units linked by β-(1→3) bonds as the main structural feature. From this it was deduced that sections of consecutive cellotriose units constitute the cross-links. A gelation model based on sporadic nucleation similar to crystallization of polymer melts is proposed.