Fructan (Levan) is a more pervasive polysaccharide in the sugar industry than previously thought

Fructan (levan) is a fructose polysaccharide connected by 2→6 glycosidic linkages but, compared to dextran, the amounts of fructan in factory products are much less known.

By using a new enzymatic (research) method that incorporates newly available recombinant enzymes, which comes in kit form from Megazyme®, considerable amounts of fructan (>9000 mg/kg) were consistently found in final (C) molasses from Louisiana cane sugar factories. Results were verified by breaking down the fructan with inulinase and measuring resultant products with ion chromatography. Fructan was observed to be strongly related to the recovery of sucrose in upstream and downstream factory products. Results also have, at least to a partial extent, explained why total polysaccharides are often much greater than haze dextran values in Louisiana.

A major source of fructan is the microbial deterioration of sugarcane either outside or inside the factory or both. Identification of the microorganisms causing the formation of fructan is urgently needed.

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Language: English

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