Dextran is a branched glucan composed of linear α(1→6) linked glucose units and α (1→3) link initiated branches. Dextran ranges in size from 10,000 to 150,000 Kd. Dextrans are used in many applications as volume extenders, stabilizers, matrix components, binding platforms, lubricants and physical structure components. Low molecular weight dextrans are often preferred versus high molecular weight dextrans due to their different viscosities, aggregation and permeation properties.
Dextran is an extracellular bacterial polymer of D-glucopyranose. It mostly comprises α-(1→6) linkage in the main chain and a variable number of α-(1→2), α-(1→3), α-(1→4) branched linkages.
Dextran is used as a drug, particularly as a blood plasma volume expander. It is also useful as an adjuvant, emulsifier, carrier, and stabilizer in the food, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries. Sephadex is a cross-linked dextran that is commonly used for the separation and purification of protein. In the food industry, dextran is applicable as a thickener for jam and ice cream. It hinders the crystallization of sugar and augments moisture retention. This preserves the flavor and appearance of several food items.