Five kinds of fucoidans from the brown seaweeds Cladosiphon okamuranus, Sargassum hornery, Kjellmaniella crassifolia (Saccharine sculpera), Nemacystus decipiens, and Fucus vesiculosus, were isolated according to a previously reported procedure with slight modification. The scavenging activities of DPPH radical, superoxide radical, and hydroxyl radical, as well as the ORAC value were measured for the isolated fucoidans. Fucoidans from S. hornery, F. vesiculosus, and K. crassifolia showed higher antioxidant activity than that from S. hornery and C. okamuranus, except for the hydroxyl radical scavenging activity. The relationship between the antioxidant activity and the structure was examined for each fucoidan. Fucoidans with high amount of sulfate groups did not necessarily result in increased antioxidant activity, although the sulfate group itself was essential for the antioxidant activity. Furthermore, the fucoidan linked to a side chain monosaccharide, such as GlcA, demonstrated similar antioxidant activity. The antioxidant activity of the fucoidans was possibly due to a combination of the factors involved, such as the amount of sulfate groups, the position of the sulfate groups, the kind of side chain sugar, the linkage of a side chain sugar, and the molecular weight.
D-Glucose and D-fructose are isomers of commonly consumed monosaccharides. The ratio of conversion of D-glucose to D-fructose by glucose isomerase (xylose isomerase) is not more than 50 %. However, addition of an equimolar ratio of the organogermanium compound poly-trans-[(2-carboxyethyl)germasesquioxane] (Ge-132) or its derivative increases the conversion ratio to 80 %. In contrast, use of the Lobry de Bruyn–Alberda van Ekenstein transformation with heating results in a lower conversion ratio, less than 30 %, whereas addition of an equimolar concentration of Ge-132 or its derivative to this reaction mixture increases the ratio to 73 %. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to further analyze the affinity between organogermanium compounds (i.e., Ge-132 and its derivatives) and sugar using 1H-nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometry. For the dimethyl derivative of Ge-132, the complex formation ratios at 0.25 M (mixing ratio 1:1) were 19 and 74 % for D-glucose and D-fructose, respectively. Additionally, the complex formation constants between monosaccharides and Ge-132 were 1.2 and 46 M-1 for D-glucose and D-fructose, respectively. The complex formation capacity was approximately 40-fold higher for D-fructose than for D-glucose. Therefore, we concluded that the high affinity for the product of isomerization may promote isomerization, and that promotion of sugar isomerization using organogermanium compounds is an effective method for conversion of D-glucose to D-fructose.
The apparent density and porosity of four rice cultivars, Koshihikari, Yumepirika, Habutaemochi, and Kitayukimochi, decreased and increased, respectively, with the increasing temperature in the range of 5 °C to 60 °C. Especially large changes in both apparent density and porosity were observed at 60 °C, which can be ascribed to the starch gelatinization of rice. The swelling pressures of wet rice grains were estimated to be 7.5, 6.3, 6.2, and 5.9 MPa at 25 °C for Koshihikari, Yumepirika, Habutaemochi, and Kitayukimochi, respectively, from the distribution coefficients of solutes with different molar volumes. Rice grains having higher amylose content exhibited a weak tendency toward higher swelling pressure. The distribution coefficients of fructose for the Koshihikari and Habutaemochi cultivars were larger at higher temperatures, but the temperature dependence of the swelling pressure was not significant for both cultivars. These results suggested that the increase in the distribution coefficient was caused by the gradual relaxation of the interior structure of rice with increasing temperature.