This study was carried out to evaluate the effect of gamma irradiation on the physical and structural properties of β-glucan. β-Glucan solution (10%, w/v) was exposed to a cobalt-60 source (10, 30, and 50 kGy). Gel permeation chromatography data showed that the average molecular weight of irradiated β-glucan significantly decreased as the irradiation dose increased. In addition, gamma irradiation improved the solubility and decreased the viscosity of β-glucan by the radiolysis of the glycosidic bonds, and this effect was dependent upon the absorbed dose. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy results showed that the functional groups of β-glucan were not significantly affected by gamma irradiation. Scanning electron microscopy results showed that the irradiated β-glucan was deformed into smaller granules. Therefore, gamma irradiation could be used in commercial processes as an effective method to resolve the physical problems involved in the use of β-glucan with high viscosity and low solubility.
- Gamma irradiation
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