From Monosaccharides to Glycans, How Can You Advance Your Carbohydrate Analysis and Skills?

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From Monosaccharides to Glycans, How to Advance Your Carbohydrate Analysis and Skills?

Team TFS
Team TFS

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Carbohydrate analysis is a staple of the food and beverage industry as part of labeling requirements, dietary considerations and the macronutrient content of our food and drink.  Carbohydrates are also a major constituent of dietary fiber and food additives.


There are a number of ways to analyze carbohydrates, but high-performance anion exchange with pulsed amperometric detection (HPAE-PAD) is the most selective, direct and sensitive mode of analysis not requiring any sample derivatization prior to analysis.


Increasingly, HPAE-PAD is being applied to more advanced analysis such as oligosaccharides, glycan research, sialic acids, and profiling whole glycomes not only in the food industry but in the development of biopharmaceuticals based on glycoproteins.  Carbohydrate structure analysis and content is critical analysis as well as glycosylation, which impacts the immunogenicity of the biologic drug.


In our 2021 IC global symposium, we heard from Dr. Fiona Cuskin, from the University of Newcastle, UK, on how she uses HPAE-PAD to analyze carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes) to understand microbial glycan degradation, plant pathogens, and human gut microbiota.   This type of research is a far cry from simple monosaccharide analysis, yet the analytical technique is still the same.


As the types of carbohydrate analysis advance, how can this technique advance with it and how do you advance your skills when it comes to carbohydrate analysis? On our new advancing carbohydrates webpage, you can learn how to apply new technology to your ever-advancing analysis.


Advancing knowledge


Understanding how HPAE-PAD works, how the detector is configured, and how to maintain and troubleshoot your system is a vital way to advance your knowledge. It is also important to know how to select the right reference electrodes and gaskets to suit your application. We take you back to basics with tutorials on the fundamentals of carbohydrate analysis, eluent preparation and column chemistry.


Advancing columns


Advanced columns such as the Thermo Scientific Dionex CarboPac PA200 and PA300 IC columns are the latest columns to offer more coverage of larger carbohydrate molecules.  The Carbopac PA300 is particularly good for charged and neutral glycan analysis.  This high-efficiency column is designed for isomer level resolution analysis of complex oligosaccharides in heterogeneous biological and food samples.

Using a 4 um column particle size with a high-pressure IC system unlocks better resolution and the ability to run faster without compromising peak shapes. 


Advancing eluents


Preparing eluents for carbohydrate analysis can be particularly tricky, asbacteria in eluents have a high affinity for sugars, which can affect your analysis.  Automating eluent preparation with eluent generation technology is a key way to improve this process and prevent contamination.  For eluents used in larger carbohydrate analysis, which usually require additional buffers, dual eluent generation is now available to cover a wider range of applications.  Automating this process ensures reproducible, ultra-pure eluents every time with less chance of repeating analysis due to errors.


Advancing with Mass Spectrometry


This advancement will blow your mind.  Add a mass spectrometer to HPAE-PAD to get even more information from your sample.  One example is to access data on the acidic subsets of the glycome to gain complementary information to the typical LC-MS method used.


So whether advancing carbohydrate analysis means looking for complex separations such as glycans or increasing your understanding of the technique, you will find something on this page to help you.