Detection of Inulin, a Prebiotic Polysaccharide, in Maple Syrup

J Agric Food Chem. 2016 Sep 28;64(38):7142-7. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.6b03139. Epub 2016 Sep 20.


Maple syrup is a widely consumed plant-derived natural sweetener produced by concentrating xylem sap collected from certain maple (Acer) species. During thermal evaporation of water, natural phytochemical components are concentrated in maple syrup. The polymeric components from maple syrup were isolated by ethanol precipitation, dialysis, and anion exchange chromatography and structurally characterized by glycosyl composition analysis, glycosyl linkage analysis, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Among the maple syrup polysaccharides, one neutral polysaccharide was characterized as inulin with a broad molecular weight distribution, representing the first isolation of this prebiotic carbohydrate from a xylem sap. In addition, two acidic polysaccharides with structural similarity were identified as arabinogalactans derived from rhamnogalacturonan type I pectic polysaccharides.

Keywords: arabinogalactan; inulin; maple syrup; polysaccharide.

MeSH terms

  • Acer / chemistry*
  • Galactans / analysis
  • Inulin / analysis*
  • Molecular Weight
  • Nutritive Sweeteners / analysis
  • Pectins / analysis
  • Prebiotics / analysis*


  • Galactans
  • Nutritive Sweeteners
  • Prebiotics
  • rhamnogalacturonan I
  • Pectins
  • Inulin
  • arabinogalactan