Found in the walls of yeast and cereal fibres such as oats, wheat and barley, beta-glucan has been studied for its cholesterol-lowering ability, immunity enhancement, and GI (glycaemic index) reduction.
It is increasingly being recognised as a useful ingredient in functional foods aimed at these benefits. Beta-glucan ingredients introduced to the market include offerings from Cargill (Barliv, from barley), Biothera (from yeast) , and Cevena (Viscofiber, from oats or barley).
Leatherhead's AOAC streamlined testing method involves analysis of oat, barley and fibre samples to determine beta-glucan content.
The prepared samples are incubated with purified lichenase enzyme, causing hydrolysis of the beta-gluco-oligosaccharides to D-glucose.
"The D-glucose is then measured with high-purity glucose oxidase/peroxidase reagent, from which the Beta-Glucan content can be determined," explains the company.
More information is available from Ann Gooding, tel: +44 (0) 1372 822282; email@example.com .