European Food Research and Technology

, Volume 244, Issue 5, pp 893–902 | Cite as

Maturation-related modifications of cell wall structures of kohlrabi (Brassica oleracea var. gongylodes)

  • Judith Schäfer
  • Mirko Bunzel
Original Paper


Changes of the cell wall composition of plant-based foods affect both texture and potential physiological effects of cell wall-based dietary fiber components. In this study, maturation-related cell wall modifications were analyzed using the example of kohlrabi. Kohlrabi samples, which were suitable for consumption, were harvested at different time points. Non-starch polysaccharides and lignin structures were characterized, and quantitative lignin determinations were performed. Cell wall analyses demonstrate slight changes of polysaccharide portions during maturation of kohlrabi; arabinan and galactan portions decreased, whereas xylan portions increased. Furthermore, increasing lignin contents were accompanied by compositional changes, e.g. increased sinapyl alcohol incorporation was demonstrated. These modifications suggest being the result from increased deposition of secondary cell walls.


Kohlrabi Dietary fiber Non-starch polysaccharides Lignin characterization Maturation 



Acetyl bromide soluble lignin


Derivatization followed by reductive cleavage








High-performance anion-exchange chromatography with pulsed amperometric detection


Partially methylated alditol acetate





The authors thank Bernhard Trierweiler and Matthias Frechen, Max Rubner-Institut, Department of Safety and Quality of Fruit and Vegetables, Karlsruhe, Germany, for cultivating and harvesting the kohlrabi samples used in this study. This work was funded by a fellowship from Carl Zeiss foundation.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest:

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Compliance with ethics requirements

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects.


  1. 1.
    Vogel J (2008) Unique aspects of the grass cell wall. Curr Op Plant Biol 11:301–307CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ralph J, Lundquist K, Brunow G, Lu F, Kim H, Schatz PF, Marita JM, Hatfield RD, Ralph SA, Christensen JH, Boerjan W (2004) Lignins: natural polymers from oxidative coupling of 4-hydroxyphenylpropanoids. Phytochem Rev 3:29–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Baucher M, Monties B, Van MM, Boerjan W (1998) Biosynthesis and genetic engineering of lignin. Crit Rev Plant Sci 17:125–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Slavin J (2013) Fiber and prebiotics: mechanisms and health benefits. Nutrients 5:1417–1435CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Schäfer J, Brett A, Trierweiler B, Bunzel M (2016) Characterization of cell wall composition of radish (Raphanus sativus L. var. sativus) and maturation related changes. J Agric Food Chem 64:8625–8632CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Waldron KW, Selvendran RR (1990) Effect of maturation and storage on asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) cell wall composition. Physiol Plant 80:576–583CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Schäfer J, Wagner S, Trierweiler B, Bunzel M (2016) Characterization of cell wall components and their modifications during postharvest storage of Asparagus officinalis L.: storage-related changes in dietary fiber composition. J Agric Food Chem 64:478–486CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kontraszti M, Hudson GJ, Englyst HN (1999) Dietary fibre in Hungarian foods measured by the Englyst NSP procedure and the AOAC Prosky procedure: a comparison study. Food Chem 64:445–450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bunzel M, Seiler A, Steinhart H (2005) Characterization of dietary fiber lignins from fruits and vegetables using the DFRC method. J Agric Food Chem 53:9553–9559CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Schäfer J, Urbat F, Rund K, Bunzel M (2015) A stable-isotope dilution GC–MS approach for the analysis of DFRC (derivatization followed by reductive cleavage) monomers from low-lignin plant materials. J Agric Food Chem 63:2668–2673CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    McCleary BV, DeVries JW, Rader JI, Cohen G, Prosky L, Mugford DC, Champ M, Okuma K (2010) Determination of total dietary fiber (CODEX definition) by enzymatic-gravimetric method and liquid chromatography: Collaborative study. J AOAC Int 93:221–233Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Willis RB, Montgomery ME, Allen PR (1996) Improved method for manual, colorimetric determination of total Kjeldahl nitrogen using salicylate. J Agric Food Chem 44:1804–1807CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Saeman JF, Bubl JL, Harris EE (1945) Quantitative saccharification of wood and cellulose. Ind Eng Chem Anal Ed 17:35–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    De Ruiter GA, Schols HA, Voragen AGJ, Rombouts FM (1992) Carbohydrate analysis of water-soluble uronic acid-containing polysaccharides with high-performance anion-exchange chromatography using methanolysis combined with TFA hydrolysis is superior to four other methods. Anal Biochem 207:176–185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Wefers D, Gmeiner BM, Tyl CE, Bunzel M (2015) Characterization of diferuloylated pectic polysaccharides from quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa WILLD.). Phytochemistry 116:320–328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Hakomori SI (1964) Rapid permethylation of glycolipid and polysaccharide catalyzed by methylsulfinyl carbanion in dimethyl sulfoxide. J Biochem 55:205–208Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Nunes FM, Reis A, Silva AMS, Domingues MRM, Coimbra MA (2008) Rhamnoarabinosyl and rhamnoarabinoarabinosyl side chains as structural features of coffee arabinogalactans. Phytochemistry 69:1573–1585CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Sweet DP, Shapiro RH, Albersheim P (1975) Quantitative analysis by various GLC response factor theories for partially methylated and partially ethylated alditol acetates. Carbohydr Res 40:217–225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Bunzel M, Schüßler A, Tchetseubu Saha G (2011) Chemical characterization of Klason lignin preparations from plant-based foods. J Agric Food Chem 59:12506–12513CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Fukushima RS, Hatfield RD (2001) Extraction and isolation of lignin for utilization as a standard to determine lignin concentration using the acetyl bromide spectrophotometric method. J Agric Food Chem 49:3133–3139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Iiyama K, Wallis AFA (1990) Determination of lignin in herbaceous plants by an improved acetyl bromide procedure. J Sci Food Agric 51:145–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Lu F, Ralph J (1997) Derivatization followed by reductive cleavage (DFRC method), a new method for lignin analysis: protocol for analysis of DFRC monomers. J Agric Food Chem 45:2590–2592CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Bunzel M, Ralph J (2006) NMR characterization of lignins isolated from fruit and vegetable insoluble dietary fiber. J Agric Food Chem 54:8352–8361CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Ralph J, Landucci LL (2010) NMR of lignins. CRC Press, Boca RatonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Schäfer J, Stanojlovic L, Trierweiler B, Bunzel M (2017) Storage related changes of cell wall based dietary fiber components of broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica) stems. Food Res Int 93:43–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Ralph J, Akiyama T, Kim H, Lu FC, Schatz PF, Marita JM, Ralph SA, Reddy MSS, Chen F, Dixon RA (2006) Effects of coumarate 3-hydroxylase down-regulation on lignin structure. J Biol Chem 281:8843–8853CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Willfor S, Pranovich A, Tamminen T, Puls J, Laine C, Suurnakki A, Saake B, Uotila K, Simolin H, Hemming J, Holmbom B (2009) Carbohydrate analysis of plant materials with uronic acid-containing polysaccharides—a comparison between different hydrolysis and subsequent chromatographic analytical techniques. Ind Crops Prod 29:571–580CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Femenia A, Waldron KW, Robertson JA, Selvendran RR (1999) Compositional and structural modification of the cell wall of cauliflower (Brassica oleracea L. var. botrytis) during tissue development and plant maturation. Carbohydr Polym 39:101–108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Zhang L, Gellerstedt G (2001) NMR observation of a new lignin structure, a spiro-dienone. Chem Commun: 2744–2745Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Donaldson LA (2001) Lignification and lignin topochemistry - an ultrastructural view. Phytochemistry 57:859–873CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Food Chemistry and Phytochemistry, Institute of Applied BiosciencesKarlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)KarlsruheGermany

Personalised recommendations