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Carbohydrates--the renewable raw materials of high biotechnological value.

Ramesh, H. P. and Tharanathan, R. N. (2003) Carbohydrates--the renewable raw materials of high biotechnological value. Critical reviews in biotechnology, 23 (2). pp. 149-73. ISSN 0738-8551

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Carbohydrates are the potential biomolecules derived from nature. Their molecular diversity has led to a bewildering variety of species, structures and characteristics all performing a large array of functions of great significance. Biologically they are vital as message (immunological) carriers, physiologically they are useful as energy (nutritional) reserves, and technologically they are needed for altering the texture and consistency (functional) of foods. Recent advances in glycobiology have opened up a new understanding of the role of sugars in biology and medicine. Noncellulosic beta-(1-3)-linked D-glucans, a group of polysaccharides found as constituents of fungi, algae, and higher plants, exhibit many interesting properties, depending on their molecular conformation. They are excellent 'biological response modifiers' and show significant immunomodulatory activities. They elicit a variety of host defense biological responses, for example, potent antitumor activity. On the other hand, the mixed-linkage ((1-3/1-4)-beta-linked) glucans are important constituents of cereal cell walls, where they perform properties of physiological importance, such as water holding capacity, porosity, and plasticity, which are useful at different stages of growth/development of plants. Of late, carbohydrate-based therapeutics are becoming the promise against many chronic diseases of today and tomorrow. Some of the characteristic features, structural attributes, functional significance, and applications of a selected few carbohydrate species are the subject matter of this review.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: carbohydrates, polysaccharides, glucans, biotechnology, functions
Subjects: 600 Technology > 08 Food technology > 16 Nutritive value > 01 Carbohydrates
600 Technology > 05 Chemical engineering > 01 Biotechnology and Bioengineering
Divisions: Dept. of Biochemistry
Depositing User: Food Sci. & Technol. Information Services
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2010 10:13
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2012 09:24
URI: http://ir.cftri.com/id/eprint/2059

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