Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry

Development and evaluation of methods for starch dissolution using asymmetrical flow field-flow fractionation. Part I: Dissolution of amylopectin.

PMID 25925852


We have investigated methods of starch dissolution with the aim of finding an optimum method to completely dissolve starch granules to form a molecularly dissolved starch solution without degradation of the polymers. Glycogen was used as a model molecule for amylopectin, to identify the dissolution conditions under which the degradation of the polymers was limited or not present. Dissolution was performed in water with temperatures up to 200 °C, facilitated by the use of heating in an autoclave or a microwave oven, or in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) at 100 °C. Waxy maize starch was chosen due to its high content of amylopectin and very low content of amylose. The degree of starch dissolution under different conditions was determined enzymatically. The effect of different dissolution conditions on the molar mass and root-mean-square radius of the polymers was determined with asymmetrical flow field-flow fractionation coupled to multi-angle light scattering and differential refractive index (AF4-MALS-dRI) detectors under aqueous conditions. The results suggest that reliable and accurate size separation and characterization of amylopectin can be obtained by dissolution of starch granules in an aqueous environment at 140 °C by autoclaving or in DMSO at 100 °C. The results also clearly show an upper limit for heat treatment of starch, above which degradation cannot be avoided.