Microwave treatment alters the fine molecular structure of waxy hull-less barley starch

Xiaojing Chen, Mengting Ma, Xingxun Liu, Zekun Xu, Chuangchuang Zhang, Zhongquan Sui*, Harold Corke*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Waxy hull-less barley kernels and their isolated starches were exposed to different microwave conditions (power 640, 720, and 800 W, time 60, 120 and 180 s) and changes in morphology, particle size, digestibility, rheological properties, and molecular structure were measured and analyzed. Microwave treatment caused roughness and deformation of granular surfaces, and an increase in granule size. After treatment, the in vitro digestibility of starch was increased, i.e., the RDS increased, but the RS decreased. Microwave treatment decreased the K values of the in-kernel MWI WHBS. Dynamic rheological results showed that the in-kernel MWI WHBS pastes had lower TG′max, and higher G′max, G′90°C, G′25°C, G′0.1Hz and G′20Hz after treatment. The chain-length distribution did not significantly change after microwave treatment. However, the results for molecular size distributions showed that the peaks of amylopectin (Rh = ~100 nm) shifted left and right, indicating that the molecular volume might become smaller or larger under different processing conditions. The primary effects of microwave treatment may be loosening the molecular structure and cutting main chains of amylopectin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1086-1092
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
StatePublished - 15 Dec 2021


  • Waxy hull-less barley
  • Functional properties
  • Molecular size distribution


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