PULLULAN — A Natural Polysaccharide

ShanDong look chemical co.ltd
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PULLULAN — A Natural Polysaccharide


Pullulan is natural water-soluble polysaccharide, fermented by starch syrup with a selected strain of Aureobasidium pullulans. It consists mainly of maltotriose units linked through α-1, 6 – glucosidic bonds. It is an excellent film-former, producing a film which is heat sealable with good oxygen barrier properties. It can be used widely in both the pharmaceutical and food industries, such as encapsulating agents, adhesives, thickening, and extending agent.

Chemical formula: (C18H30O15)n CAS No.:9057-02-7


In 1976 Pullulan was approved as a food ingredient in Japan.

In 2002 Pullulan was approved by FDA and recorded in GRAS(GRAS Notice No.GRN99).

In 2006 Pullulan was approved as a Food Additive by Ministry of Health of the PRC. EU.Austria.Canada approved Pullulan as a food additive.

Physical Properties

* Solubility

Pullulan is readily soluble in water, practically insoluble in ethanol (99.5%).

*Lubricity and adherence

Pullulan solution is a Newtonian fluid, with excellent lubricity and adherence in spite of low viscosity. This makes pullulan highly useful for foods requiring thickening.

* Stability

Pullulan solution does not turn into gel, having low viscosity compared with the other polysaccharides. The viscosity of pullulan is stable, being resistant to the addition of metal salts. Prolonged heating at pH3 leads to decrease in viscosity, which is indicative of a hydrolytic depolymerization.

* Digestibility

Pullulan is a resistant polysaccharide equal to cellulose and pectin.

Digestibility of pullulan

Salivary α -amylase0.1
Artificial gastric juice0.0
Porcine pancreaticα -amylase0.0
Rat small-intestinal mucosal enzymes5.4

References: [Digestion and Fermentation of Pullulan” Okada, et al.

Journal of Japan Society of Nutrition and Food Science, 43(1)23-29 (1990).

Functional Properties

* Binding property

Pullulan is effective at binding ingredients such as dried foods. Pullulan is also a binding agent in granulation and tablet formulations. It has lower friability than Gum Arabic even at lower concentrations, which is important in handling and transportation.