Carbohydrate analysis

With a suite of instruments and significant expertise, we offer a commercial carbohydrate analysis service for oligo- and polysaccharides and glycoconjugates.

Photograph of a fraction collector used for carbohydrate analysis

The team of expert chemists and biologists at the Ferrier Research Institute routinely analyse the following compounds and mixtures:

  • natural and synthetic oligosaccharides
  • glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) such as heparan sulfate
  • natural and synthetic glycopeptides and glycolipids.

Polysaccharide analyses

We offer the following polysaccharide analyses:

  • solution NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) analysis
  • total sugars and uronic acids using colorimetric analysis
  • monosaccharide, disaccharide and oligosaccharide analysis
  • fractionation and analysis—separation and purification of polysaccharides from complex mixtures (plant cell walls)
  • constituent sugar composition after acid hydrolysis of polysaccharides to their constituent sugars
  • glycosyl linkage analysis, by GC-MS (gas chromatography-mass spectrometry) following methylation, hydrolysis, reduction and acetylation.

On request, we are also able to undertake other specialty analyses, such as impurity profiling by HPLC (high pressure liquid chromatography).

Analysis methods

We have expertise in the following analysis methods:

  • HPAEC with PAD detection
  • Capillary electrophoresis with UV detection
  • NMR spectroscopy
  • GC and GC-MS
  • Constituent sugar analysis
  • Viscosity
  • Particle size
  • UV/Vis spectrophotometry
  • HPLC.

Client comment

"Ian Sims and his team are important collaborators in our research about bowel bacteria. We have several joint publications as a result of our various investigations.

"They cover two critical aspects of our work: preparing purified carbohydrate fractions for bowel bacterial growth and detecting the hydrolytic end products produced by particular bacteria growing on complex carbohydrates."

Professor Gerald Tannock, James Cook Research Fellow, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Otago