The Chinese Water Chestnuts are a staple of Westerner’s views of what should be thrown into a stir-fry. Apologies if that appears a jaundiced view of a crunchy vegetable because its not meant to be given it substantially improves the texture of any I’ve managed by heating them to extinction.
Interest in the compounds to be extracted from this tuber still generate interest. A recent article looks at the oligosaccharides that can be obtained from this vegetable. It is likely they not only provide fibre but could offer a prebiotic alternative to other more conventional fructooligosaccharides.
The researchers at the School of Marine Science and Technology, Huaihai Institute of Technology in Xinpu, China found that reacting hydrogen peroxide, a very powerful oxidant cleaved the glycosidic bonds in the extracted polysaccharides. This released a group of oligosaccharides which had good antioxidant properties themselves. They established the optimum process conditions for the production of these polysaccharides derivatives having hydrolysed the starch from the tubes using alpha-amylase.
Wu, S-J., Yu, L. (2015) Preparation and characterisation of the oligosaccharides derived from Chinese water chestnut polysaccharides. Food Chem., 181 pp. 15-18 doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2015.02.066