Advanced microscopy techniques for revealing molecular structure of starch granules

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Starch is a major source of our daily diet and it is important to understand the molecular structure that plays a significant role in its wide number of applications. In this review article, microscopic structures of starch granules from potato, corn, rice canna, tania, wheat, sweet potato, and cassava are revealed using advanced microscopic techniques. Optical microscopy depicts the size and shape, polarization microscopy shows the anisotropy properties of starch granules, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) displays surface topography, and confocal microscopy is used to observe the three-dimensional internal structure of starch granules. The crystallinity of starch granules is revealed by second harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy and atomic force microscopy (AFM) provides mechanical properties including strength, texture, and elasticity. These properties play an important role in understanding the stability of starch granules under various processing conditions like heating, enzyme degradation, and hydration and determining its applications in various industries such as food packaging and textile industries.

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The authors thank Dr. K. Satyamoorthy, Director, Manipal School of Life Sciences (MSLS), MAHE, for his encouragement and Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, for providing the infrastructure and facilities. We thank Dr. K. K. Mahato, HoD, Department of Biophysics, MSLS, MAHE, for the fruitful discussion in preparation of this review article.

Funding information

We thank Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India, for the financial support (project number: BT/PR25099/NER/95/1014/2017).

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Correspondence to Nirmal Mazumder.

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Chakraborty, I., Pallen, S., Shetty, Y. et al. Advanced microscopy techniques for revealing molecular structure of starch granules. Biophys Rev (2020) doi:10.1007/s12551-020-00614-7

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  • Starch
  • Optical microscopy
  • Polarization microscopy
  • Confocal microscopy
  • Atomic force microscopy
  • SHG microscopy