Journal of Chinese Pharmaceutical Sciences ›› 2020, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (2): 113-122.DOI: 10.5246/jcps.2020.02.009

• Original articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The granule characteristics of yam, sweet potato and tapioca starches determined by gravitational field-flow fractionation

Yue Zou, Yang Li, Nanyin Han*   

  1. Department of Chemical Biology, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing 100191, China
  • Received:2019-09-21 Revised:2019-10-17 Online:2020-02-29 Published:2019-11-15
  • Contact: Tel.: +86-13911353094, E-mail:


To study the characteristics of tuber starchgranules, firstly, three kinds of common tuber starches were separated and characterized by gravitational field-flow fractionation (GrFFF) instrument, and the ratios of large and small starch granules A/B were calculated. Then, the liquid of peak A and peak B was collected and observed by scanning electron microscope (SEM) to verify the separation result of GrFFF. Secondly, the particle size distribution and crystal characteristics were characterized by particle size analyser, X-ray diffraction (X-ray) and fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). Three kinds of tuber starches all had the bimodal distribution in GrFFF. Peak A contained large particles, and peak B contained small particles. For yam starch, the ratio of starch granules A/B was much higher than 1; for sweet potato starch, the ratio was approximately equal to 1; for tapioca starch, the ratio was much lower than 1. Moreover, the starch granules of sweet potato and tapioca were both A-type crystallinity, while yam starch granules were C-type crystallinity. GrFFF could be used to characterize and separate large and small granules of tuber starches and estimate the ratio of starch granules A/B. Yam starch was suitable for the development of slowly digestible starch (one kind of functional food), which could delay the occurrence of metabolic syndrome, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Tapioca starch was suitable for plant capsules, which were safer than gelatin capsule and could prevent the “poison capsule” incident from happening.

Key words: Gravitational field-flow fractionation (GrFFF), Yam starch, Sweet potato starch, Tapioca starch, Slowly digestible starch, Plant capsule

CLC Number: