Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry vol:55 issue:5 pages:1985-92
The variability in rye flour alkali-extractable arabinoxylan (AE-AX) structures was examined by extensive fractionation and enzymic degradation studies. AX were isolated from destarched rye water-unextractables by sequential extraction with saturated barium hydroxide solution, water, 1.0 M sodium hydroxide, and water. The isolated AE-AX contained ca. 51% AX with an arabinose to xylose (A/X) ratio of 0.71. Fractionation of the isolated AE-AX by ethanol precipitation yielded a range of AE-AX fractions containing AX molecules with different A/X ratios and substitution patterns. Degradation of these structurally different AE-AX fractions by an Aspergillus aculeatus endoxylanase (XAA) and a Bacillus subtilis endoxylanase (XBS) resulted in AX fragments with various structural features. Further fractionation of the degraded AE-AX fractions by ethanol precipitation showed that a strong correlation exists between the structural features of the AX fragments, that is, average degree of polymerization (DP) of the xylan backbone, A/X ratio, and substitution pattern. Results indicated that the rye flour AE-AX consist of a continuum of structures rather than of two types of AX or two types of regions in the AX molecule.