Special Issue "Food Polymers: Chemistry, Structure, Function and Application"

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 June 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Binjia Zhang

Key Laboratory of Environment Correlative Dietology (Ministry of Education), College of Food Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, Hubei 430070, China
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Interests: natural polymers for food and high-value materials, SAXS/SANS insights into starch, multi-level structure characterization of starch and related modelling, biosynthesis-structure-functionality relationships of starch, real-time structural evolutions of polymers during processing
Guest Editor
Dr. Fengwei Xie

International Institute for Nanocomposites Manufacturing (IINM), WMG, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
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Interests: polymers from renewable resources, natural polymers, biopolymers, biodegradable polymers, biobased polymers, polysaccharides, starch, cellulose, chitosan, chitin, protein, polymer processing, polymer engineering, polymer physics, polymer blends, polymer composites, polymer nanocomposites, sustainable materials, biodegradable materials, functional materials, bioplastics, processing-structure-property relationship
Guest Editor
Prof. Shujun Wang

State Key Laboratory of Food Nutrition & Safety, Tianjin University of Science & Technology, Tianjin 300457, China
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Interests: natural polymers; polymer dissolution; phase transition of polymer; non-thermal food processing technique; starch structure and functionality; starch gelatinization and retrogradation; structural changes of starch during food processing; interaction between food components; starch digestibility for human nutrition; processing-structure-functionality (digestibility) relationship; starch modification for food applications

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Many types of food contain polymers, which determine food characteristics such as structure, processability, texture, flavour, nutrition, health benefits, and shelf life. Food polymers mainly include polysaccharides and proteins. Abundant in nature and as vital sources of nutrition, various polysaccharides such as starch, cellulose, chitosan, galactomannans, carrageenans, alginates, agars, inulins, pectins, xanthans, and gums are widely used as essential bulk foodstuffs. Besides, polysaccharides could have remarkable and sometimes unique properties such as thickening, stabilizing, gelling, and emulsifying agents, so they can be used as important additives for food. On the other hand, many types of food are based on proteins, which are essential nutrients for the body. Dietary sources of protein include both animals (e.g., meats, poultry, dairy products, seafood, and eggs) and plants (e.g., grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds). The application of polysaccharides and proteins in food largely depends on the chemistry, structure, and functionality of these polymers.

Significant progress in biology, chemistry, materials, and engineering areas, as well as advances in analytical technologies, have provided new ways to develop better and healthier food systems. In recent years, there has been a strong focus on the genetic, physical, and chemical modifications of food polymers to achieve desired structures, functions, and properties. Also, importantly, food polymers could interact with each other or with other food components in the same systems, which influence the overall food quality largely. This Special Issue aims to provide a great opportunity for researchers to share their state-of-the-art studies related to food polymers and is intended to cover important aspects of food polymers including their structures, extraction, modification, processing, characterisation, properties, health effects, safety, and applications. Also welcome are reports on new food systems that are based on the understanding and development of their polymer components.

Dr. Binjia Zhang
Dr. Fengwei Xie
Prof. Shujun Wang
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • food polymers
  • natural polymers
  • biopolymers
  • biomass-derived polymers
  • agro-polymers
  • polysaccharides
  • starch
  • dietary fibre
  • proteins
  • edible polymers
  • food engineering
  • food processing
  • food texture
  • food functionality
  • food flavour
  • food shelf life
  • food nutrition
  • healthy food
  • processing-structure-property relationships

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Quantitative Evaluation of Ultrasound-Assisted Extraction of 1,3-β-glucans from Dictyophora indusiata Using an Improved Fluorometric Assay
Polymers 2019, 11(5), 864; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11050864
Received: 13 March 2019 / Revised: 27 April 2019 / Accepted: 7 May 2019 / Published: 13 May 2019
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Abstract
In the present study, an improved fluorometric assay based on aniline blue dye for the specific, accurate, and rapid quantification of 1,3-β-glucans in edible mushrooms was developed and fully validated. Furthermore, the improved method was successfully applied for the quantitative evaluation of water [...] Read more.
In the present study, an improved fluorometric assay based on aniline blue dye for the specific, accurate, and rapid quantification of 1,3-β-glucans in edible mushrooms was developed and fully validated. Furthermore, the improved method was successfully applied for the quantitative evaluation of water soluble 1,3-β-glucans extracted from Dictyophora indusiata by ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) with response surface methodology. Results showed that the improved method exhibited high specificity, accuracy, precision, repeatability, and stability, as well as a wide calibration range of 10–600 µg/mL (R2 > 99.9%). The maximum extraction yields of water soluble 1,3-β-glucans (1.20%) and total polysaccharides (5.41%) were achieved at the optimized extraction parameters as follows: ultrasound amplitude (56%), ultrasound extraction time (15 min), and ratio of liquid to raw material (22 mL/g). The results suggest that the improved fluorometric assay has great potential to be used as a routine method for the quantitative evaluation of 1,3-β-glucans in edible mushrooms and that the UAE method is effective for the extraction of 1,3-β-glucans from edible mushrooms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Polymers: Chemistry, Structure, Function and Application)
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Open AccessArticle
Two-Step Isolation, Purification, and Characterization of Lectin from Zihua Snap Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) Seeds
Polymers 2019, 11(5), 785; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11050785
Received: 9 April 2019 / Revised: 29 April 2019 / Accepted: 30 April 2019 / Published: 2 May 2019
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Abstract
A two-step method based on an aqueous two-phase system and Sephadex G-75 was used to separate and purify lectin from the seeds of the Zihua snap bean. The preliminary properties and bioactivity of the Zihua snap bean lectin were characterized by different instrumental [...] Read more.
A two-step method based on an aqueous two-phase system and Sephadex G-75 was used to separate and purify lectin from the seeds of the Zihua snap bean. The preliminary properties and bioactivity of the Zihua snap bean lectin were characterized by different instrumental methods, such as sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS–PAGE), liquid chromatography-nano electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (Nano LC-ESI-MS/MS), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The hemagglutinating activity of the Zihua snap bean lectin could not be inhibited by glucose, N-acetyl-d-glucosamine, d-galactose, N-acetyl-d-galactosamine, fructose, sucrose, d-maltose, d-trehalose, and lactose. It was found that the hemagglutinating activity of the lectin showed strong dependence on Mn2+ and Ca2+. The thermal and pH stability of the Zihua snap bean lectin was studied by FTIR and fluorescence spectroscopy. Relatively good stability was observed when the temperature was not higher than 70 °C, as well as in the pH range of 2.0 to 10.0. Digestive stability in vitro was investigated. The untreated lectin was relatively stable to pepsin and trypsin activity, but heat treatment could significantly reduce the digestive stability in vitro. Moreover, the lectin showed an inhibitory effect on the tested bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), Escherichia coli (E. coli), Bacillus subtilis (B. subtilis)), and it also showed a certain inhibitory effect on the growth of Phytophthora infestans (P. infestans) at higher concentrations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Polymers: Chemistry, Structure, Function and Application)
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Open AccessArticle
Studies on the Origin of Carbons in Aroma Compounds from [13C6]Glucose -Cysteine-(E)-2-Nonenal Model Reaction Systems
Polymers 2019, 11(3), 521; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11030521
Received: 22 February 2019 / Revised: 11 March 2019 / Accepted: 15 March 2019 / Published: 19 March 2019
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Abstract
The thermal degradation of lipid oxidation products with amino acids and reducing sugars is known to be important for the characteristic aroma generation in both meat and meat-like process flavorings. SPME(solid phase microextraction)/GC-MS was used to analyze the volatiles produced from a solution [...] Read more.
The thermal degradation of lipid oxidation products with amino acids and reducing sugars is known to be important for the characteristic aroma generation in both meat and meat-like process flavorings. SPME(solid phase microextraction)/GC-MS was used to analyze the volatiles produced from a solution of [13C6]glucose, cysteine, and lipid degradation product- (E)-2-nonenal, heated at 130 °C for 90 min. Analysis of the mass spectra showed that the resulting 2-butyl-thiophene and 5-butyldihydro-2(3H)-furanone were 13C6-labeled and hence stemmed from glucose. Glucose and (E)-2-nonenal were equally important for the formation of 2-pentylfuran, whether cysteine was present in the reaction or not. 2-Furanmethanol, (E)-2-(1-pentenyl)-furan, 2-hexanoylfuran, ethanethiol, 5-methyl-2(5H)-thiophenone, 1-methyl-5-mercaptotetrazole, 4-pentyl-pyridine, 2-pentyl-thiophene, and 2-mercaptopropanoic acid were virtually 13C1-13C4 labeled, suggesting an origin from both glucose and cysteine and/or (E)-2-nonenal carbons. Thus, the relative contribution of aldehyde to the C-skeleton of a particular aroma compound changed substantially when both glucose and cysteine were involved in its formation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Polymers: Chemistry, Structure, Function and Application)
Open AccessArticle
Hierarchical Structure and Thermal Property of Starch-Based Nanocomposites with Different Amylose/Amylopectin Ratio
Polymers 2019, 11(2), 342; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11020342
Received: 5 January 2019 / Revised: 8 February 2019 / Accepted: 11 February 2019 / Published: 15 February 2019
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Abstract
Starch-based materials with reinforced properties were considered as one of the most promising materials to replace the petro-based packaging products, and actually, the molecular structures of starch usually determined the structures and properties of end-used starchy products. Here, starch-based nanocomposites were fabricated by [...] Read more.
Starch-based materials with reinforced properties were considered as one of the most promising materials to replace the petro-based packaging products, and actually, the molecular structures of starch usually determined the structures and properties of end-used starchy products. Here, starch-based nanocomposites were fabricated by starch esters derived from native starches with different amylose contents and organically modified montmorillonite (OMMT). The fractured surface under scanning electron microscopy (SEM) exhibited wrinkles formed by macromolecular aggregation owing to the interaction competition between the plasticizer and nanofiller with the starch ester. The more intense interaction within amylopectin-rich films promoted the formation of much randomly exfoliation of OMMT observed by Transmission electron microscopy (TEM). As the amylose content increased, the interaction between the starch ester and the nanofiller was weakened, leading to the dispersion morphology of an ordered arrangement and partly intercalated structures in the dimension of 12.92 to 19.77 nm. Meanwhile, such interaction also affected both the inner ordered structure integrity of starch ester and the layer structure consistency of nanofiller according to X-ray diffraction results. Further, the stronger interaction between amylopectin and the nanofiller endowed higher thermal stability to the amylopectin-rich starch-based nanocomposites. In short, these results are beneficial for the application of starch-based nanocomposites in the food packaging industry by regulating the interaction between starch and nanofillers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Polymers: Chemistry, Structure, Function and Application)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Dual Modification on the Spectroscopic, Calorimetric, Viscosimetric and Morphological Characteristics of Corn Starch
Polymers 2019, 11(2), 333; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11020333
Received: 22 January 2019 / Revised: 9 February 2019 / Accepted: 13 February 2019 / Published: 14 February 2019
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Abstract
The effect of dual modification of corn starch, including hydrolysis and succinylation, were evaluated through peak viscosity (PV) analysis, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and Raman spectroscopy. This dual modification was shown to increase the [...] Read more.
The effect of dual modification of corn starch, including hydrolysis and succinylation, were evaluated through peak viscosity (PV) analysis, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and Raman spectroscopy. This dual modification was shown to increase the reaction efficiency (RE) and degree substitution (DS) compared with starches that were not subjected to acid hydrolysis pretreatment with a 44% and 45% increase respectively. After acid hydrolysis pretreatment, the surface of the corn starch granules exhibited exo-erosion and whitish points due to the accumulation of succinyl groups. The peak viscosity was reduced significantly with the acid hydrolysis pretreatment (between 3 and 3.5-fold decrease), which decreased the pasting temperature and peak time to 20 °C and 100 s respectively. In addition, the dual modification of corn starch altered certain thermal properties, including a reduction in the enthalpy of gelatinization (ΔH) and a higher range of gelatinization (around 6 °C), which may effectively improve industrial applications. Modifications on the FTIR spectra indicated that the dual modification affected the starch crystallinity, while the Raman spectra revealed that the dual modification disrupted the short-range molecular order in the starch. Rearrangement and molecular destabilization of the starch components promoted their granular amphiphilic properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Polymers: Chemistry, Structure, Function and Application)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of the Spray Drying Conditions of Blueberry Juice-Maltodextrin on the Yield, Content, and Retention of Quercetin 3-d-Galactoside
Polymers 2019, 11(2), 312; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11020312
Received: 11 January 2019 / Revised: 6 February 2019 / Accepted: 8 February 2019 / Published: 13 February 2019
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Abstract
The influence of the processing conditions during the spray drying of mixtures of blueberry juice (BJ) and maltodextrin (MX) was determined quantitatively by the analysis of variance (ANOVA), and qualitatively by the surface response plots (SRP). The effect of two independent variables (inlet [...] Read more.
The influence of the processing conditions during the spray drying of mixtures of blueberry juice (BJ) and maltodextrin (MX) was determined quantitatively by the analysis of variance (ANOVA), and qualitatively by the surface response plots (SRP). The effect of two independent variables (inlet temperature, and MX concentration), and one categorical variable (type of MX), was determined on the yield (Y), content (Q), and retention (R) of the antioxidant quercetin 3-d-galactoside. From the ANOVA results, the concentration was the main variable affecting Y and Q, while temperature had a negligible effect, and the low molecular weight MXs exhibited a better response. The physicochemical characterization showed that the powder appearance and microstructure remained unaffected, but size and morphology of the particles varied with the processing conditions. This study established the optimal processing conditions for the spray drying of BJ-MX, and the application limits of the MXs based on the molecular weight distribution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Polymers: Chemistry, Structure, Function and Application)
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Open AccessArticle
Eco-Innovation in Reusing Food By-Products: Separation of Ovalbumin from Salted Egg White Using Aqueous Two-Phase System of PEG 1000/(NH4)2SO4
Polymers 2019, 11(2), 238; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11020238
Received: 8 January 2019 / Revised: 25 January 2019 / Accepted: 26 January 2019 / Published: 1 February 2019
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Abstract
For the purpose of reducing pollution and the rational use of salted egg white, which is a byproduct of the manufacturing process of salted egg yolk, an aqueous two-phase system (ATPS) composed of polyethylene glycols (PEG 1000) and (NH4)2SO [...] Read more.
For the purpose of reducing pollution and the rational use of salted egg white, which is a byproduct of the manufacturing process of salted egg yolk, an aqueous two-phase system (ATPS) composed of polyethylene glycols (PEG 1000) and (NH4)2SO4 was investigated to selectively separate ovalbumin (OVA) from salted egg white. With the aim of optimizing the selective separation of OVA using ATPS, a response surface method (RSM) experiment was carried out on the basis of a single-factor experiment. The OVA was characterized by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS–PAGE), reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC), liquid chromatography-nano electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (Nano LC-ESI-MS/MS), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). Under the optimal conditions, the recovery yield of OVA through ATPS (Y) and the purity of OVA (P) could reach 89.25% and 96.28%, respectively. In conclusion, OVA was successfully separated from the salted egg white by PEG/(NH4)2SO4 ATPS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Polymers: Chemistry, Structure, Function and Application)
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Open AccessArticle
Extraction Optimization and Effects of Extraction Methods on the Chemical Structures and Antioxidant Activities of Polysaccharides from Snow Chrysanthemum (Coreopsis Tinctoria)
Polymers 2019, 11(2), 215; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11020215
Received: 8 January 2019 / Revised: 19 January 2019 / Accepted: 23 January 2019 / Published: 26 January 2019
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3081 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In order to explore snow chrysanthemum polysaccharides (SCPs) as functional food ingredients and natural antioxidants for industrial applications, both microwave-assisted extraction (MAE) and ultrasonic-assisted extraction (UAE) were firstly optimized for the extraction of SCPs. Furthermore, the effects of conventional hot water extraction, UAE, [...] Read more.
In order to explore snow chrysanthemum polysaccharides (SCPs) as functional food ingredients and natural antioxidants for industrial applications, both microwave-assisted extraction (MAE) and ultrasonic-assisted extraction (UAE) were firstly optimized for the extraction of SCPs. Furthermore, the effects of conventional hot water extraction, UAE, and MAE on the chemical structures and antioxidant activities of SCPs were investigated. The maximum extraction yields of SCPs extracted by UAE (4.13 ± 0.24%) and MAE (4.26 ± 0.21%) were achieved at the optimized extraction parameters as follows: ultrasound amplitude (68%) and microwave power (500 W), ultrasound extraction time (21 min) and microwave extraction time (6.5 min), and ratio of liquid to raw material (42.0 mL/g for UAE and 59.0 mL/g for MAE). In addition, different extraction methods significantly affected the contents of uronic acids, the molecular weights, the molar ratio of constituent monosaccharides, and the degree of esterification of SCPs. SCPs exhibited remarkable DPPH (IC50 ≤ 1.702 mg/mL), ABTS (IC50 ≤ 1.121 mg/mL), and nitric oxide (IC50 ≤ 0.277 mg/mL) radical scavenging activities, as well as reducing power (≥ 80.17 ± 4.8 μg Trolox/mg), which suggested that SCPs might be one of the major contributors toward the antioxidant activities of snow chrysanthemum tea. The high antioxidant activities (DPPH, IC50 = 0.693 mg/mL; ABTS, IC50 = 0.299 mg/mL; nitric oxide, IC50 = 0.105 mg/mL; and reducing power, 127.79 ± 2.57 μg Trolox/mg) observed in SCP-M extracted by the MAE method might be partially attributed to its low molecular weight and high content of unmethylated galacturonic acids. Results suggested that the MAE method could be an efficient technique for the extraction of SCPs with high antioxidant activity, and SCPs could be further explored as natural antioxidants for industrial application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Polymers: Chemistry, Structure, Function and Application)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of an Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Jet on the Structure and Physicochemical Properties of Waxy and Normal Maize Starch
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010008
Received: 5 December 2018 / Revised: 18 December 2018 / Accepted: 19 December 2018 / Published: 21 December 2018
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Abstract
In present study, a novel physical modification of waxy maize starch (WMS) and normal maize starch (NMS) was investigated by using an atmospheric pressure plasma jet (APPJ) treatment. The effect on the structure and physicochemical properties of both starches was demonstrated by treatment [...] Read more.
In present study, a novel physical modification of waxy maize starch (WMS) and normal maize starch (NMS) was investigated by using an atmospheric pressure plasma jet (APPJ) treatment. The effect on the structure and physicochemical properties of both starches was demonstrated by treatment with a 5% starch suspension (w/w) with APPJ for short periods of time (1, 3, 5, or 7 min). The pH of WMS and NMS was decreased after APPJ treatment from 5.42 to 4.94, and 5.09 to 4.75, respectively. The water-binding capacity (WBC) (WMS: 105.19%–131.27%, NMS: 83.56%–95.61%) and swelling volume (SV) (WMS: 2.96 g/mL–3.33 g/mL, NMS: 2.75 g/mL–3.05 g/mL) of the starches were obviously increased by APPJ treatment. The surfaces of starch granules were wrecked, due to plasma etching. No changes in the crystalline types of both starches were observed. However, the relative crystallinities (RCs) of WMS and NMS were reduced from 46.7% to 42.0%, and 40.1% to 35.7%, respectively. Moreover, the short-range molecular orders of both starches were slightly reduced. In addition, APPJ treatment resulted in lower gelatinization temperature and enthalpies. Therefore, APPJ provides a mild and green approach to starch modification, showing great potential for applications in the food and non-food industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Polymers: Chemistry, Structure, Function and Application)
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Open AccessArticle
Changes in the Structure and Digestibility of Wrinkled Pea Starch with Malic Acid Treatment
Polymers 2018, 10(12), 1359; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10121359
Received: 2 November 2018 / Revised: 4 December 2018 / Accepted: 6 December 2018 / Published: 7 December 2018
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Abstract
Resistant starch has gradually become a popular food component due to its beneficial physiological effects and heat resistance during processing. In this study, the structure, reaction mechanism, and digestibility of wrinkled pea starch with malic acid and heat–moisture treatment (HMT) are investigated. The [...] Read more.
Resistant starch has gradually become a popular food component due to its beneficial physiological effects and heat resistance during processing. In this study, the structure, reaction mechanism, and digestibility of wrinkled pea starch with malic acid and heat–moisture treatment (HMT) are investigated. The degree of substitution (DS) of malate starch, HMT-malate starch, and malate-HMT starch was 0.164, 0.280, and 0.146, respectively. Malate starch remained in its complete particle form and pronounced birefringence was displayed. However, the malate-HMT starch sample was almost completely broken into pieces and lost the polarized cross. All modified starch samples had a decreased swelling power and a new peak at 1731–1741 cm−1 shown by FTIR. From the 13C CP/MAS NMR (Cross Polarizatio/Magic Angle Spinning Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) spectra, all the modified starches had extra peaks at 38.5 ppm and 172.8 ppm. After esterification treatment, the resistant starch (RS) and slowly digestible starch (SDS) content of starch samples increased dramatically. The higher content of RS and lower enzymatic hydrolysis rate of the malate starch could be used to produce low-calorie foods and have potential health benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Polymers: Chemistry, Structure, Function and Application)
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