Structure and rheological characteristics of fucoidan from sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus

Long Yu, Changhu Xue, Yaoguang Chang, Yanfang Hu, Xiaoqi Xu, Lei Ge, Guanchen Liu

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56 Citations (Scopus)


Sea cucumber is a traditional health food consumed in East Asia. In this study, fucoidan from sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus (Aj-FUC) was isolated, and its structure and rheological characteristics were elucidated for the first time. Aj-FUC was a branched polysaccharide mainly composed of a novel repeating unit [α-l-Fucp2(OSO3-)-1 → 3,(α-l-Fucp-1 → 4-α-l-Fucp-1 →)4-α-l-Fucp2(OSO3-)-1 → 3-α-l-Fucp2(OSO3-)], clarified by using a combination of infrared spectroscopy, methylation analysis, enzymatic degradation and nuclear magnetic resonance. In steady shear measurement, Aj-FUC manifested a non-Newtonian shear-thinning behaviour at low shear rate (1-100 S-1) while exhibiting a non-Newtonian shear-thickening behaviour at high shear rate (100-1000 S-1); salts had limited impact on its flow curve. Comparative study on viscosity and rheological behaviour of Aj-FUC and a linear fucoidan extracted from sea cucumber Acaudina molpadioides suggested that the presence of branch structure might significantly influence the rheological characteristics of fucoidan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-76
Number of pages6
JournalFood Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Apostichopus japonicus
  • Fucoidan
  • Rheological behaviour
  • Sea cucumber
  • Structure
  • Viscosity


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