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Polymers 2018, 10(6), 617;

Gluten Polymer Networks—A Microstructural Classification in Complex Systems

Research Group Cereal Technology and Process Engineering, Institute of Brewing and Beverage Technology, Technical University of Munich, 85354 Freising, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 May 2018 / Revised: 1 June 2018 / Accepted: 3 June 2018 / Published: 5 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protein Biopolymer)
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A classification of gluten polymer networks would support a better understanding of structure-function relationships of any gluten polymer material and thus, the control of processing properties. However, quantification and interpretation of the gluten network structures is challenging due to their complexity. Thus, the network formation was altered by specific gluten-modifying agents (glutathione, ascorbic acid, potassium bromate, glucose oxidase, transglutaminase, bromelain) in this study in order to clarify if structural alterations can be detected on a microstructural level and to specify different polymer arrangements in general. Microstructure analysis was performed by confocal laser scanning microscopy followed by quantification with protein network analysis. It was shown that alterations in gluten microstructure could be elucidated according to the kind of modification in cross-linking (disulphide, (iso) peptide, dityrosyl). Linear correlations of structural network attributes among each other were found, leading to an assertion in general: the higher the branching rate, the thinner the protein threads and the larger the interconnected protein aggregate. Considering the morphological attribute lacunarity, a quantitative classification of different gluten arrangements was established. These assertions were extended by using unspecific gluten-modifying agents in addition to the specific ones. Ultimately, five network types were proposed based on diverse polymer arrangements. View Full-Text
Keywords: CLSM; protein network analysis; microstructure; wheat; gluten; network type CLSM; protein network analysis; microstructure; wheat; gluten; network type

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Lucas, I.; Becker, T.; Jekle, M. Gluten Polymer Networks—A Microstructural Classification in Complex Systems. Polymers 2018, 10, 617.

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