What is Pullulan?
Pullulan is an extracellular water-soluble mucopolysaccharide similar to glucan and xanthan gum produced by fermentation of Aureobasidium pullulans, which was found as a special microbial polysaccharide in 1938 by R.Bauer.
Pullulan is edible with non-toxic, non-mutagenic, odorless, and tasteless properties. Dry pullulan powders are white and non-hygroscopic and dissolve readily in hot or cold water. Pullulan solutions are of relatively low viscosity. The viscosity of pullulan solutions is stable for heating, changes in pH, and most metal ions, including sodium chloride.
Due to the unique structure and properties of the polysaccharide, it has broad application prospects in the pharmaceutical, food, petroleum, chemical and other industries. It is known as the pollution-free plastics because it can be degraded and utilized by microorganisms in nature, and it will not cause environmental pollution.
Pullulan is a linear polysaccharide obtained by polymerizing a maltotriose repeat unit linked by an α-1,4 glycosidic bond via an α-1, 6 glycosidic bond, having a molecular weight of 20,000 to 2,000,000 and a polymerization degree of 100 to 5,000. (General commodity molecular weight is about 200,000. It is composed of about 480 maltotriose). The polysaccharide has two important properties: it is structurally elastic and has a relatively high solubility. Pullulan has strong properties of film-forming, gas barrier, plasticity and viscosity, and has excellent properties such as being easily soluble in water, non-toxic, harmless, colorless and odorless so it has been widely used in medicine, food, light industry, chemical and petroleum fields. In May 19, 2006, the Ministry of Health issued Announcement No. 8, which is one of the four new food additive products that can be used as a coating agent and thickener in candy, chocolate coating, film, compound seasoning, and fruit and vegetable juice beverages.
It can be used in the pharmaceutical industry to manufacture capsules, lozenges, amorphous drugs, hemostatic agents, plasma extenders, X-ray fluoroscopy, toxoids and vaccine protectants; wound sutures; artificial organs and anticoagulant medical materials, etc.. Compared with other capsules, Pullulan capsule has highly obvious advantages:
1 The oxygen transmission rate of Pullulan capsule is about 1/8 of that of gelatin capsule, 1/300 of HPMC capsule, which can effectively protect the content from being oxidated and prolong storage period;
2 Its transparency is equivalent to animal capsules, and filling contents are clearly visible;
3 With no animal protein or fat, it is not easy to breed microorganisms and stable quality;
4 It contains no animal ingredients, mad cow disease, foot and mouth disease, etc. which are the common worries of human and animal infectious diseases;
5 There is no religious and vegetarian restrictions to prepare natural plant materials. In the cosmetics industry, it can be used to make powder, shampoo, lotion, facial mask, skin protection agents, and hair styling agents, etc.