In this work, the galactomannans from roasted coffee infusions were purified by 50% ethanol precipitation, anion exchange chromatography, and phenylboronic acid-immobilized Sepharose chromatography. Specific enzymatic hydrolysis of the beta-(1-->4)-D-mannan backbone allowed us to conclude that the galactomannans of roasted coffee infusions are high molecular weight supports of low molecular weight brown compounds. Also, the molecular weight of the brown compounds linked to the galactomannan increases with the increase of the coffee degree of roast. The reaction pathways of galactomannans during the coffee roasting process were inferred from the detection of specific chemical markers by gas chromatography-electron impact mass spectrometry and/or electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. Maillard reaction, caramelization, isomerization, oxidation, and decarboxylation pathways were identified by detection of Amadori compounds, 1,6-beta-anhydromannose, fructose, glucose, mannonic acid, 2-ketogluconic acid, and arabinonic acid in the reducing end of the obtained oligosaccharides. The implication of the several competitive reaction pathways is discussed and related to the structural changes of the galactomannans present in the roasted coffee infusions.
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