Structural and rheological studies of a polysaccharide mucilage from lacebark leaves (Hoheria populnea A. Cunn.)

© 2018 Elsevier B.V. A water-soluble mucilage extracted from the leaves of Hoheria populnea was chemically and physically studied. Monosaccharide composition and linkages were determined by high performance anion exchange chromatography (HPAEC), gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Lacebark mucilage was composed of rhamnose, galactose, galacturonic acid and glucuronic acid (2:1:2:1). Proton and 13C NMR spectroscopy, and linkage analysis, revealed a predominantly rhamnogalacturonan I-type (RG I-type) structure comprising of a backbone of → 4]-α-D-GalpA-[1 → 2]-α-L-Rhap-[1 →. Data indicated the mucilage likely comprises of a polymer containing several structurally discrete domains or possibly more than one discrete polymer. One domain contains a RG I-type backbone with branching at O-3 of GalpA residues to terminal β-D-GlcpA residues, another similarly contains a RG I-type backbone but is branched at O-4 of the Rhap residues to terminal GalpA residues or oligosaccharides containing α-linked 4-Galp and terminal GalpA residues. A possible third domain contains contiguous 2-Rhap residues, some branched at O-3. Hydrated mucilage exhibited pseudoplastic flow behaviour and viscoelastic properties of an entangled biopolymer network. These rheological behaviours were only slightly affected by pH and may prove advantageous in potential end-product applications including oral pharmaceuticals or as a food ingredient.