Plant scientists discover new complex carbohydrate in barley

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Plant scientists have discovered a new complex carbohydrate in barley. The first of its kind to be discovered in more than 30 years, the cereal polysaccharide has potential applications in food, medicine and cosmetics.

The new polysaccharide was discovered by the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine’s Dr Alan Little and the team at the former ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls.

“Plant cell walls contain components that are of major interest for many industries such as renewable sources for energy production, composite materials or food products,” says Dr Little.

Further research is required to understand the new polysaccharide’s potential uses. Existing polysaccharides have a wide range of uses. They improve the quality of dietary fibre in porridge and are also used extensively in biomedical and cosmetic applications.

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