Novel rapid method for the characterisation of polymeric sugars from macroalgae

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Laminarins are storage polysaccharides found only in brown seaweeds, specifically Laminarialaes and Fucales. Laminarin has been shown to have anti-apoptotic and anti-tumoural activities and is considered as a nutraceutical component that can positively influence human health. The structure is species dependent, generally composed of linear ß(1–3) glucans with intrachain β(1–6) branching and varies according to harvest season and environmental factors. Current methods for analysis of molar mass and DP length are technically demanding and are not widely available. Here, we present a simple inexpensive method which enables rapid analysis of laminarins from macroalgal biomass using high-performance anion exchange chromatography with pulsed amperometric detection (HPAEC-PAD) without the need for hydrolysis or further processing. This is based on the linear relationship observed between log10 DP and retention time following separation of laminarins on a CarboPac PA-100 column (Dionex) using standard 1,3-β-d-gluco-oligosaccharides ranging in DP from 2 to 8. This method was applied to analyse laminarin oligomers in extracts from different species harvested from within the intertidal zone on Welsh rocky shores containing laminarin polymers with different ranges of DP. The degree of polymerisation and extrapolated molar mass agreed well with values estimated by LC-ESI/MSn analysis and those reported in the literature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1507-1513
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Phycology
Issue number3
Early online date16 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jun 2017


  • seaweed
  • Laminarin
  • HPAEC-Pad
  • nutraceuticals
  • biorefining


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