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Revisiting the structural features of arabinoxylans from brewers’ spent grain

Coelho, Elisabete, Rocha, M. Angélica M., Moreira, Ana S.P., Domingues, M. Rosário M., Coimbra, Manuel A.
Carbohydrate polymers 2016 v.139 pp. 167-176
arabinose, arabinoxylan, fermentation, gel chromatography, methylation, prebiotics, probiotics, screening, spent grains, tandem mass spectrometry, uronic acids, xylanases, xylose
The brewers’ spent grain (BSG) arabinoxylans (AX) have been described to be composed by a backbone of (β1→4)-linked xylose residues containing only single units of arabinose as side chains. However, this is not in accordance with the structural features of AX from other cereal sources. Aiming to disclose the possibility of additional structural details, fractions enriched in AX were obtained by sequential extraction from BSG. The AX richest fraction was hydrolysed with xylanase, fractioned by size-exclusion chromatography, and analysed by electrospray tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MSn). Methylation analysis showed that the amount of terminally linked arabinose residues was not in accordance with the number of xylose branching points. This was due to the presence of O-acetyl, hexose, hexuronic acid, and methylated uronic acid residues. AXs presenting these structural features can be a potential source of a large screening prebiotic, providing, in the same molecule, areas of fast and slow probiotic fermentation rates.