Differentiation of Dietary Fiber Sources by Chemical Characterization

  • Michael A. McLaughlin
  • Martha L. Gay
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 270)


The terra “dietary fiber” is generally defined as the components of plant cell walls which are indigestible by humans.1,2 Interest in fiber has risen recently as various physiological effects, such as the lowering of serum cholesterol3 and a decrease in the incidence of colon cancer,4 have become widely reported. From a chemical point of view, dietary fiber consists of the nonstarch polysaccharides (NSP) and lignin, which are not metabolized by human small intestinal enzymes. The NSP are represented by such chemically diverse compounds as hemicellulose, cellulose, pectin, carrageenan, guar gum and agar. Lignin is a highly cross-linked polymer of phenylpropane units derived from coniferyl, sinapyl and coumaryl alcohols. Information about various types of polysaccharides found in plants is used in the present study to differentiate fiber sources by characterizing their polysaccharide components. From this type of chemical characterization we can then “fingerprint” or analyze for chemical differences among the many fiber sources that are claimed to produce different physiological effects.


Dietary Fiber Methylation Analysis Fiber Source Alditol Acetate Fiber Extract 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    G.A. Spiller and R.M. Kay, Recommendations and conclusions of the dietary fiber workshop of the XI international congress of nutrition, Rio de Janeiro, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 32:2102 (1979).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    H. Trowell, D.A. Southgate, T.M. Wolever, A.R. Leeds, M.A. Gassell, and D.J.A. Jenkins, Dietary fiber redefined, Lancet 1:967 (1976).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    J.W. Anderson, L. Story, B. Sieling, W.-J.L. Chen, M.S. Petro, and J. Story, Hypocholesterolemic effects of oat bran and bean intake for hypercholesterolemic men, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 40:1146 (1984).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    M.A. Howell, Diet as an etiological factor in the development of cancers of the colon and rectum, J. Chronic Dis. 27:67 (1975).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    H.N. Englyst, V. Anderson, and J.H. Cummings, Starch and non-starch polysaccharides in some cereal foods, J. Sci. Food Agric. 32:1434 (1983).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    L.A. MacArthur and B.L. D’Appolonia, Comparison of nonstarchy polysaccharides in oats and wheat, Cereal Chem. 57:39 (1980).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    R.J. Henry, A comparison of the non-starch carbohydrates in cereal grains, J. Sci. Food. Agric. 36:1243 (1985).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    G.O. Aspinall and R.C. Carpenter, Structural investigations on the non-starchy polysaccharides in oat bran, Carbohydr. Polym. 4:271 (1984).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    S. Wada and P.M. Ray, Matrix polysaccharides of oat coleoptile cell walls, Phytochemistry 17:923 (1978).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    J.B. Wyman, K.W. Heaton, A.P. Manning, and A.C.B. Wicks, The effect on intestinal transit and the feces of raw and cooked bran in different doses, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 29:1474 (1976).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    A.G.J. Voragen, H.A. Schols, F.M. Marijs, and F.M. Rombouts, Non-starch polysaccharides from barley: Structural features and breakdown during malting, J. Inst. Brew. 93:202 (1987).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    J.M. Brillouet and C. Mercier, Fractionation of wheat bran carbohydrates, J. Sci. Food. Agric. 32:243 (1981).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    S.G. Ring and R.R. Selvandren, Isolation and analysis of cell wall material from Beeswing wheat bran (Triticum aestivum), Phytochemistry 19:1723 (1980).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    P.B. Schwarz, W.H. Kunerth, and V.L. Youngs, The distribution of lignin and other fiber components within hard red spring wheat bran, Cereal Chem. 65:59 (1988).Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    G.O. Aspinall, I.W. Cottrell, S.V. Egan, I.M. Morrison, and J.N.C. Whyte, Polysaccharides of soy-beans. Part IV. Partial hydrolysis of the acidic polysaccharide complex from cotyledon meal, J. Chem. Soc. C, 1071 (1967).Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    G.O. Aspinall, K. Hunt, and I.M. Morrison, Polysaccbarides of soy-beans. Part V. Acidic polysaccharides from the hulls, J. Chem. Soc. C, 1080 (1967).Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    O. Theander, Advances in the characterization and analytical determination of dietary fibre components, in “Dietary Fibre,” C.C. Birch and K.J. Parker, eds., Applied Science Publishers, London (1983).Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    L. Prosky , N.-G. Asp, I. Furda, J.W. DeVries, T.F. Schweizer, and B.F. Harland, Determination of total dietary fiber in foods, food products, and total diets: Interlaboratory study, J. Assoc. Off. Anal. Chem. 67:1044 (1984).Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    AOAC, “Changes in Official Methods of Analysis,” 14th Ed., 1st Suppl., AOAC, Arlington, VA (1985) secs 43.A14–43.A20.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    P.J. Harris, R.J. Henry, A.B. Blakeney, and B.A. Stone, An improved procedure for the methylation analysis of oligosaccharides and polysaccharides, Carbohydr. Res. 127:59 (1984).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    S.I. Hakomori, A rapid permethylation of glycolipid and polysaccharide catalyzed by methylsulfinyl carbanion in dimethyl sulfoxide, J. Biochem. (Tokyo) 55:205 (1964).Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    L.R. Phillips and B.A. Fraser, Methylation of carbohydrates with dimsyl potassium in dimethyl sulfoxide, Carbohydr. Res. 90:149 (1981).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    N.C. Carpita and E.M. Shea, Linkage structure of carbohydrates by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) of partially methylated alditol acetates, in “Analysis of Carbohydrates by GLC and MS,” C.J. Biermann and G.D. McGinnis, eds., CRC Press, Boca Raton (1988).Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    A.B. Blakeney, P.J. Harris, R.J. Henry, and B.A. Stone, A simple and rapid preparation of alditol acetates for monosaccharide analysis, Carbohydr. Res. 113:291 (1983).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    E.M. Shea and N.C. Carpita, Separation of partially methylated alditol acetates on SP-2330 and HP-1 vitreous silica capillary columns, J. Chromatogr. 445:424 (1988).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    C.E. Ballou, Alkali sensitive glycosides, Adv. Carbohydr. Chem. 9:59 (1954).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    H. Bjorndal, B. Lindberg, and S. Svensson, Mass spectrometry of partially methylated alditol acetates, Carbohydr.Res. 5:433 (1967).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    H. Bjorndal, B. Lindberg, A. Pilotti and S. Svensson, Mass spectra of partially methylated alditol acetates II. Deuterium labeling experiments, Carbohydr. Res. 15:339 (1970).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    L.S. Golovkina, O.S. Chizhov, and N.S. Wulfson, Mass-spektrometritcheskoe issledowanie uglewodow soobshenie 9. Acetaty polilow, Izv. Akad. Nauk SSSR, Ser. Khim. 1915 (1966).Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    P.E. Jansson, L. Kenne, H. Liedgren, B. Lindberg, and J. Lonngren, A practical guide to the methylation analysis of carbohydrates, Chem. Commun. Univ. Stockholm 8 (1976).Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    B. Lindberg, Methylation analysis of polysaccharides, Methods Enzymol. 28:178 (1972).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    B. Lindberg and J. Lonngren, Methylation analysis of complex carbohydrates: General procedure and application for sequence analysis, Methods Enzymol. 50:3 (1978).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    H. Rauvala, J. Finne, T. Krusius, J. Karkainen, and J. Jarnefelt, Methylation techniques in the structural analysis of glycoproteins and glycolipids, Adv. Carbohyr. Chem. Biochem. 38:389 (1981).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    H. Bjorndal, C.G. Hellerquist, B. Lindberg, and S. Svensson, Gas-liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry in methylation analysis of polysaccharides, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 9:610 (1970).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    J. Lonngren and S. Svensson, Mass spectrometry in structural analysis of natural carbohydrates, Adv. Carbohydr. Chem. Biochem. 29:41 (1974).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael A. McLaughlin
    • 1
  • Martha L. Gay
    • 1
  1. 1.U.S. Food and Drug Administration Division of Food Chemistry and TechnologyS.W.USA

Personalised recommendations