Time-Resolved in-Situ Observation of Starch Polysaccharide Degradation Pathways

Sophie Beeren, Bent O. Petersen, Marie Bøjstrup, Ole Hindsgaul, Sebastian Meier

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


Analytical challenges in the direct time-resolved observation of starch metabolism have been addressed by using optimized multidimensional NMR experiments. Starch provides the main source of human dietary energy intake and is a raw material for beverage and renewable fuel production. Use of direct in situ observations of starch remodeling pathways could facilitate our understanding and control of processes of biotechnological, medical, and environmental relevance. Processes involving starch synthesis or degradation are difficult to monitor directly in aqueous solution, however, because starch consists of glucopyranosyl homopolymers that are built up from and degraded into structurally similar fragments that yield only small signal dispersion in optical and NMR spectroscopy. By focusing on acetal groups only, H-1,C-13 HSQC experiments sampling narrow spectral windows in the highly resolved C-13 dimension have been employed in order to observe the amylopectin cleavage pathway in real time with a temporal resolution of 150 s. Quantifiable signals for more than 15 molecular species emerging during starch fragmentation by human saliva have been resolved and tracked over time in this manner. Altered accumulation of intermediates in the digestion of amylopectin in the presence of black tea acting as an effector have been monitored.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number18
Pages (from-to)2506-2511
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • NMR
  • amylases
  • carbohydrates
  • NMR spectroscopy
  • pathway intermediates
  • starch metabolism
  • beverage
  • black tea
  • dietary energy intake
  • amylopectin 9037-22-3
  • fuel
  • glucopyranosyl
  • starch polysaccharide
  • 10060, Biochemistry studies - General
  • 19004, Dental biology - Physiology and biochemistry
  • saliva dental and oral system
  • [carbon-13]heteronuclear single quantum coherence spectroscopy laboratory techniques, spectrum analysis techniques
  • [proton]heteronuclear single quantum coherence spectroscopy laboratory techniques, spectrum analysis techniques
  • kinetic analysis mathematical and computer techniques
  • time-resolved in-situ observation laboratory techniques
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
  • Methods and Techniques
  • alpha amylase saliva isoenzyme
  • amylase
  • amylopectin
  • glucan
  • maltodextrin
  • starch
  • tannin derivative
  • aqueous solution
  • article
  • carbohydrate analysis
  • carbohydrate metabolism
  • degradation
  • digestion
  • dispersion
  • heteronuclear single quantum coherence
  • hydrolysis
  • nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • polymerization
  • priority journal
  • saliva
  • tea
  • Camellia sinensis


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