Polysaccharides are amongst the most abundant biomolecules found in nature and are frequently used in foods. Finding a single method to quickly recognize their structures remains challenging. Various chemical-induced polysaccharide depolymerization approaches were investigated for polysaccharides recognition and fingerprinting. A method based on TEMPO-oxidation and partial acid-hydrolysis of plant arabinoxylans (AXs) was investigated. Released oligomers from AXs that were AX-specific allowed us to distinguish different AXs based on their oligomer LC-MS profiles.
Periodate oxidation of plant polysaccharides with and without subsequent autoclave (AC) treatment was also investigated. This method released oligosaccharides from most of the investigated polysaccharides and mixes thereof. These oligosaccharides were polysaccharide structure-dependent, giving unique MS oligosaccharide profiles. Thus, partial acid-hydrolysis of TEMPO-oxidized AXs, and AC treatment of periodate-oxidized plant polysaccharides have potential to more generically recognize AXs and other plant polysaccharides by oligosaccharides fingerprinting. This can be of high interest for the food industry to study carbohydrates in food products.