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    Discuss the feasibility of using methylation analysis to distinguish between each of the following pairs of carbohydrates:
    A) Maltose and Trehalose
    B) Maltose and Amylose
    C) Amylose and Cellulose

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    Solution Preview

    Methylation analysis is the classic approach to determine the linkage pattern in linked saccharides.

    Essentially, there are four steps to the process:

    1. methylation of free hydroxyl groups
    2. hydrolysis to yield methylated monosaccharides
    3. reduction to alditols
    4. acetylation

    All of this chemistry is followed up by analysis by GC or GC/MS.

    What does this accomplish? Free hydroxyl groups on the sugar residues end up being methylated and the rest of the oxygens become acetylated.

    You'll need to take a look at the structure of these di/polysaccharides to see this analysis make sense.


    In maltose, you have a 1,4 linked disaccharide with two glucose residues. Therefore, the terminal (nonreducing) glucose will end up being 2,3,4,6-tetramethylated (with the 1 and 5 positions being acetylated). The 1 ...

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