Academic article

Inter-laboratory evaluation of SEC-post-column calcofluor for determination of the weight-average molar mass of cereal β-glucan

Rieder, Anne; Knutsen, Svein Halvor; Ulset, Ann-Sissel Teialeret; Christensen, Bjørn E.; Andersson, Roger; Mikkelson, Atte; Tuomainen, Päivi; Maina, Ndegwa; Ballance, Simon

Publication details

Journal: Carbohydrate Polymers, vol. 124, p. 254–264, 2015

Publisher: Elsevier

International Standard Numbers:
Printed: 0144-8617
Electronic: 1879-1344

Open Access: none


Even though size exclusion chromatography (SEC) with post column addition of calcofluor (SEC-calcofluor) has been used for the determination of cereal β-glucan molar mass in foods for many years, there is a lack of systematic evaluation of the method. To address this issue a set of suitable β-glucan standards were generated by preparative SEC and their molar mass characteristics were determined by analytical multi-detection SEC (refractive index (RI), light scattering). Each standard was then analysed by SEC-calcofluor at three different labs. As a direct comparison, the analyses were repeated with a RI detector. For SEC-calcofluor accurate measurements of weight average molar mass (Mw) can be made for β-glucan populations within 10–500 × 103 g/mol. Above this molar mass threshold there is an increasing tendency for underestimation of Mw. Precipitation of some β-glucan-calcofluor complexes may have delayed their transport into the detector.