PloS one

Non-cellulosic polysaccharides from cotton fibre are differently impacted by textile processing.

PMID 25517975


Cotton fibre is mainly composed of cellulose, although non-cellulosic polysaccharides play key roles during fibre development and are still present in the harvested fibre. This study aimed at determining the fate of non-cellulosic polysaccharides during cotton textile processing. We analyzed non-cellulosic cotton fibre polysaccharides during different steps of cotton textile processing using GC-MS, HPLC and comprehensive microarray polymer profiling to obtain monosaccharide and polysaccharide amounts and linkage compositions. Additionally, in situ detection was used to obtain information on polysaccharide localization and accessibility. We show that pectic and hemicellulosic polysaccharide levels decrease during cotton textile processing and that some processing steps have more impact than others. Pectins and arabinose-containing polysaccharides are strongly impacted by the chemical treatments, with most being removed during bleaching and scouring. However, some forms of pectin are more resistant than others. Xylan and xyloglucan are affected in later processing steps and to a lesser extent, whereas callose showed a strong resistance to the chemical processing steps. This study shows that non-cellulosic polysaccharides are differently impacted by the treatments used in cotton textile processing with some hemicelluloses and callose being resistant to these harsh treatments.