Biopolymers from Mesquite Tree (Prosopis spp.)
Pp. 273-294 (22)
Yolanda L. López-Franco, Alma R. Toledo-Guillén and Jaime Lizardi- Mendoza
The mesquite tree (Prosopis spp.) is a native plant species in arid zones that
has been documented as a potential source of biopolymers, including polysaccharides,
and more recently, proteins. The native flora of the Sonoran Desert offers considerable
potential for the recovery of such compounds. Mesquite trees produce a water-soluble
exudate known as mesquite gum (MG). Pods contain seeds with high levels of protein,
and the endosperm yields a novel gum of the galactomannan family. MG and
galactomannan (GM) are not yet considered food additives in the international market
due to lack of FDA approval. However, structural, physicochemical and functional
studies have shown that MG and GM are potential substitutes for commercial Arabic
and guar gums, respectively. In addition, it was recently documented that mesquite
seeds are a rich source of protein, with considerable quantities of essential amino acids.
This chapter presents information about the structural and chemical characterization
and applications of the biopolymers that can be obtained from P. velutina.
Biopolymers, Galactomannan, Mesquite gum, Physico-chemical
properties, Protein, Structural characteristics.
Biopolymers Group, Research Center for Food and Development, (C.I.A.D., A.C.), Hermosillo, Sonora 83304, Mexico.