Structure, functionality and applications of debranched starch: A review


Starchy products have been widely used in the food, paper, textile, plastic, cosmetics, adhesives, and pharmaceutical industries. To meet specific requirements of their applications, different modification techniques, such as physical, chemical, and enzymatic methods, have been employed to enhance or inhibit their inherent properties or to endow specific properties of starch.


Scope and approach

Debranched starch (DBS), modified by pullulanase or isoamylase, acquires remarkable new properties and functionality, as a result of the generation of linear short chains released from amylopectin. In this review, the structure, functionality, and applications of DBS are discussed. The effects of debranching on the granule morphology, molecular composition, crystalline and helical structures are considered. Functionality, like gelatinization, hydrogel formation, and in vitro digestibility, is discussed. This paper also highlights promising applications of DBS, e.g., as tableting excipients, fat replacer, and as coating materials for ready-to-eat cereals.


Key findings and conclusions

DBS is an excellent functional material, with promising applications attributed to its gel forming and recrystallization properties. Linear short chains released from amylopectin during debranching endow DBS with increased mobility and facilitate molecule alignment and aggregation, leading to the formation of gel networks and crystalline structures. A combination of gel network and crystalline structure controls the formation of SDS/RS. The applications of DBS as tableting excipients, fat replacer, and coating materials for ready-to-eat cereals are mainly attributed to its gelling properties. Molecular inclusion drives the formation of inclusion complexes, self-assembling spheroids, and DBS-based nanoparticles.