Modifications of konjac glucomannan for diverse applications
Abstract Konjac glucomannan (KGM) is a major polysaccharide from the corm of Amorphophallus konjac. Native KGM has limited uses and has been chemically/physically/enzymatically modified to expand the range of functional properties. This mini-review summarises the recent advances of modifying KGM for diverse food and nonfood applications, focusing on the chemical and physical modifications. The chemical methods include substitution, grafting, cross-linking, oxidation, and deacetylation, whereas the physical modifications are electrospinning, microfluidic spinning, γ-irradiation, extrusion, and electric field processing. The modified KGM has been used in a range of different applications, including biodegradable film, emulsion, medical and pharmaceutical material, encapsulation and controlled release, fish feed and functional food ingredient, separation medium, aerogel, liquid crystal, absorbent for removal of pollutants in waste water, and so on. These KGM-based products tend to be biodegradable, biocompatible, and non-toxic with improved functional performance.