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Arabinoxylan is a hemicellulose found in both the primary and secondary cell walls of plants, including woods and cereal grains,[1] consisting of copolymers of two pentose sugars: arabinose and xylose.


Arabinoxylan chains contain a large number of 1,4-linked xylose units. Many xylose units are substituted with 2, 3 or 2,3-linked arabinose residues.[2]


Arabinoxylans chiefly serve a structural role in the plant cells.[3] They are also the reservoirs of large amounts of ferulic acid and other phenolic acids which are covalently linked to them. Phenolic acids may also be involved in defense including protection against fungal pathogens.

Arabinoxylans are one of the main components of soluble and insoluble dietary fibers which are shown to exert various health benefits.[4] In addition, arabinoxylans, owing to their bound phenolic acids, are shown to have antioxidant activity.[5] Their ion exchange capacity and viscosity are also partly responsible for their beneficial metabolic effects.[6]


  1. ^ McCartney, L; et al. (2005). "Monoclonal Antibodies to Plant Cell Wall Xylans and Arabinoxylans". Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry. 53: 543-546. doi:10.1369/jhc.4b6578.2005.
  2. ^ Dervilly-Pinel, G; et al. (2004). "Investigation of the distribution of arabinose residues on the xylan backbone of water-soluble arabinoxylans from wheat flour". Carbohydrate Polymers. 55: 171-177. doi:10.1016/j.carbpol.2003.09.004.
  3. ^ Wakabayashi K, et al (2005). Physiologia Plantarum. 125:127-134
  4. ^ Izydorczyk, MS; Dexter, JE (2008). "Barley ?-glucans and arabinoxylans: Molecular structure, physicochemical properties, and uses in food products-a Review". Food Research International. 41: 850-868. doi:10.1016/j.foodres.2008.04.001.
  5. ^ Rao, RS; Muralikrishna, G. "Water soluble feruloyl arabinoxylans from rice and ragi: changes upon malting and their consequence on antioxidant activity". Phytochemistry. 67: 91-9. doi:10.1016/j.phytochem.2005.09.036. PMID 16289622.
  6. ^ Guillon, F; Champ, M (2000). "Structural and physical properties of dietary fibres, and consequences of processing on human physiology". Food Research International. 33: 233-245. doi:10.1016/s0963-9969(00)00038-7.

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