02 November 2018
The sweet rhizomes of Polygonatum cyrtonema are widely used as a tonic and functional food. A sensitive and rapid analytical method was developed for simultaneous identification and dynamic analysis of saccharides during steam processing in P. cyrtonema using HPLC–QTOF–MS/MS. Fructose, sorbitol, glucose, galactose, sucrose, and 1-kestose were identified, as well as a large number of oligosaccharides constituted of fructose units through β-(2→1) or β-(2→6). Polysaccharides and oligosaccharides were decomposed to monosaccharides during a steaming process, since the contents of glucose, galactose, and fructose were increased, while those of sucrose, 1-kestose, and polysaccharides were decreased. The high content of fructose was revealed to be the main determinant for increasing the level of sweetness after steaming. The samples of different repeated steaming times were shown to be well grouped and gradually shift along the PC1 (72.4%) axis by principal component analysis. The small-molecule saccharides, especially fructose, could be considered as markers for the steaming process of rhizomes of P. cyrtonema.