Characterization and Gel Properties of Low-Molecular-Weight Carrageenans Prepared by Photocatalytic Degradation

Polymers (Basel). 2023 Jan 24;15(3):602. doi: 10.3390/polym15030602.


Low-molecular-weight carrageenan has attracted great interest because it shows advantages in solubility, absorption efficiency, and bioavailability compared to original carrageenan. However more environment-friendly and efficient methods to prepare low-molecular-weight carrageenan are still in great need. In the present study, a photocatalytic degradation method with only TiO2 has been developed and it could decrease the average molecular weight of κ-carrageenan to 4 kDa within 6 h. The comparison of the chemical compositions of the degradation products with those of carrageenan by FT-IR, NMR, etc., indicates no obvious removement of sulfate group, which is essential for bioactivities. Then 20 carrageenan oligosaccharides in the degradation products were identified by HPLC-MSn, and 75% of them possessed AnGal or its decarbonylated derivative at their reducing end, indicating that photocatalysis is preferential to break the glycosidic bond of AnGal. Moreover, the analysis results rheology and Cryo-SEM demonstrated that the gel property decreased gradually. Therefore, the present study demonstrated that the photocatalytic method with TiO2 as the only catalyst has the potential to prepare low-molecular-weight carrageenan with high sulfation degree and low viscosity, and it also proposed the degradation rules after characterizing the degradation products. Thus, the present study provides an effective green method for the degradation of carrageenan.

PMID:36771902 | PMC:PMC9920076 | DOI:10.3390/polym15030602


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