The purpose of this research was to extract arabinoxylans (AX) from maize wastewater generated under different maize nixtamalization conditions and to investigate the polysaccharide gelling capability, as well as the rheological and microstructural characteristics of the gels formed. The nixtamalization conditions were 1.5 hours of cooking and 24 hours of alkaline hydrolysis (AX1) or 30 minutes cooking and 4 hours of alkaline hydrolysis (AX2). AX1 and AX2 presented yield values of 0.9% and 0.5% (w/v), respectively. Both AX samples presented similar molecular identity (Fourier Transform Infra-Red) and molecular weight distribution but different ferulic acid (FA) content. AX1 and AX2 presented gelling capability under laccase exposure. The kinetics of gelation of both AX samples was rheologically monitored by small amplitude oscillatory shear. The gelation profiles followed a characteristic kinetics with an initial increase in the storage modulus (G') and loss modulus (G") followed by a plateau region for both gels. AX1 presented higher G' than AX2. In scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images, both gels present an irregular honeycomb microstructure. The lower FA content in AX2 form gels presenting minor elasticity values and a more fragmented microstructure. These results indicate that nixtamalization process conditions can modify the characteristics of AX gels.
Part of the book: Wastewater Treatment Engineering