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Heat-moisture treatment of freshly harvested high-amylose maize kernels improves its starch thermal stability and enzymatic resistance.

Carbohydrate Polymers 2024 September 16
The objective of this work was to study the effects of heat-moisture treatment (HMT) of freshly harvested mature high-amylose maize (HAM) kernels on its starch structure, properties, and digestibility. Freshly harvested HAM kernels were sealed in Pyrex glass bottles and treated at 80 °C, 100 °C, or 120 °C. HMT of HAM kernels had no impact on its starch X-ray diffraction pattern but increased the relative crystallinity. This result together with the increased starch gelatinization temperatures and enthalpy change indicated starch molecules reorganization forming long-chain double-helical crystalline structure during HMT of HAM kernels. The aggregation of starch granules were observed after HMT, indicating interaction of starch granules and other components. This interaction and the high-temperature crystalline structure led to reductions in the starch digestibility, swelling power, solubility, and pasting viscosity of the HAM flours. Some starch granules remained intact and showed strong birefringence after the HAM flours were precooked at 100 °C for 20 min and followed by enzymatic hydrolysis, and the amount of undigested starch granules increased with increasing HMT temperatures. This result further supported that HMT of HAM kernels with high moisture level could increase the starch thermal stability and enzymatic resistance.

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