American Chemical Society
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Combined Alcohol Soluble Carbohydrate Determination (CASCADE) of Food

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posted on 2024-02-15, 18:17 authored by Shawn Ehlers Cheang, Jiani Jiang, Christopher Suarez, Cheng-Yu Weng, Garret Couture, Nikita P. Bacalzo, Katherine M. Phillips, Naomi K. Fukagawa, Carlito B. Lebrilla
Alcohol soluble carbohydrates (ASCs) comprise one of the most abundant classes of dietary carbohydrates. While it is generally accepted that carbohydrates form a healthy part of the diet, the types and amounts consumed are a source of disagreement among practitioners. In particular, the role of ASCs, commonly referred to as free sugars, and comprising a range of mono-, di-, and oligosaccharides, is an active area of debate. These arguments likely arise from a dearth of chemical structures. Studies have implicated diets high in free glucose, fructose, and other rapidly digested ASCs as being associated with increases in cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, but this belies the full scope of monosaccharides, disaccharides, and oligosaccharides found in food. A growing body of evidence has highlighted the role of indigestible oligosaccharides that are part of “low molecular weight soluble fiber” in promoting human health through gut microbiome-mediated mechanisms. Despite their ubiquitous presence in food and relevance to health, there is a lack of comprehensive, rapid-throughput analytical tools for the absolute quantitation of ASCs. To address this critical gap, we propose a rapid-throughput, highly expandable platform for native Combined Alcohol Soluble CArbohydrate DEtermination (CASCADE) in food. To highlight the robustness of the method across complex matrices, CASCADE analysis was applied to commonly consumed foods including fermented and functionalized foods. The expandability of the platform was demonstrated by the inclusion of sugar alcohols in the analyte panel which are both naturally occurring and added to foods. Overall, we envision CASCADE as a useful tool for the nascent field of precision nutrition, which will necessitate detailed structures of foods.