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Origin of the Limited α-Amylolysis of Debranched Maltodextrins Crystallized in the A Form:  A TEM Study on Model Substrates

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posted on 12.01.2004 by Anne Pohu, Jean-Luc Putaux, Véronique Planchot, Paul Colonna, Alain Buléon
The detailed ultrastructure of a new type of resistant starch and the way that it is modified during hydrolysis by α-amylases were studied by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) on model starch crystals. The selected substrates were waxy maize starch lintners and A-type crystals prepared from low degree of polymerization (DP) amylose. A model describing the stacking of double helices is proposed for A-type low DP amylose crystals. The enzymatic hydrolysis of both lintners and low DP crystals has been shown to occur by the side of double helices and not their ends. The results were transposed to a new type of resistant starch (RS) produced by debranching maltodextrins in concentrated solutions. This product presents A-type crystallinity contrary to all other known classified RS. Moreover it consists of low DP chains similar to the model crystals studied and yields similar electron diffraction patterns to those of A-type low DP crystals. The similarities in the morphology of these substrates with that of the studied RS led us to attribute its resistance to its particularly dense and compact morphology, resulting from the epitaxial growth of elementary crystalline A-type platelets. In the resulting structure, the accessibility of double helices to α-amylase is strongly reduced by aggregation.

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