Cellodextrin

From WikiMD's Wellness Encyclopedia

Cellodextrin is a type of oligosaccharide, a carbohydrate that consists of a small number of simple sugars (or monosaccharides) linked together. Cellodextrins are specifically derived from the breakdown of cellulose, a complex carbohydrate that forms the primary structural component of plant cell walls.

Structure and Composition[edit | edit source]

Cellodextrins are linear oligosaccharides composed of glucose units linked by β-1,4-glycosidic bonds. The number of glucose units in a cellodextrin molecule can vary, but typically ranges from two to six. The smallest cellodextrin, composed of two glucose units, is known as cellobiose. Larger cellodextrins include cellotriose (three glucose units), cellotetraose (four glucose units), cellopentaose (five glucose units), and cellohexaose (six glucose units).

Biological Role and Applications[edit | edit source]

Cellodextrins play a crucial role in the biological breakdown of cellulose. Certain microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi, produce enzymes known as cellulases that can break down cellulose into cellodextrins. These cellodextrins can then be further broken down into glucose, which the microorganisms can use as a source of energy.

In addition to their biological role, cellodextrins have potential applications in various industries. For example, they can be used in the production of biofuels, as they can be converted into ethanol or other fuels through fermentation. They can also be used in the food industry as a source of dietary fiber, and in the pharmaceutical industry for drug delivery.

See Also[edit | edit source]

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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD