Pentosans are polymers composed of pentoses. In contrast to cellulose, which is derived from the hexose (glucose), pentosans are derived from five-carbon sugars such as xylose. Pentosan-rich biomass is the precursor to furfural.
The pentosan content has been determined for many natural materials:
- 29-25%: oat hulls, cottonseed hulls, barley, sugarcane bagasse, sunflower husks
- 24-20% wheat straw, flax shives, hazelnut shells, birchwood, eucalyptus wood
- 8% pinewood
- 3% peanut shells
Pentosans can act as heparinoids, glycosaminoglycans which are derivatives of heparin.
- Pentosan polysulfate, a semi-synthetic polysulfated xylan sold for the relief of various medical conditions including thrombi and interstitial cystitis in humans and osteoarthritis in dogs and horses
- Cai, Charles M.; Zhang, Taiying; Kumar, Rajeev; Wyman, Charles E. (2014). "Integrated furfural production as a renewable fuel and chemical platform from lignocellulosic biomass". Journal of Chemical Technology & Biotechnology. 89: 2–10. doi:10.1002/jctb.4168.
- Genetic and environmental variation in the pentosan and β-glucan contents of barley, and their relation to malting quality. R.J.Henry, Journal of Cereal Science, Volume 4, Issue 3, July 1986, Pages 269-277
- The role of pentosans and starch in baking of wholemeal rye bread. Krzysztof Buksa, Anna Nowotna, Werner Praznik, Halina Gambuś, Rafał Ziobro and Jan Krawontka, Food Research International, Volume 43, Issue 8, October 2010, Pages 2045-2051, doi:10.1016/j.foodres.2010.06.005
- Water-Soluble Pentosans in Flours Varying Widely in Bread-Making Potential. Rita Pi-Chi Tao and Y. Pomeranz, Food Science, Volume 32, Issue 2, March 1967, Pages 162–168, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2621.1967.tb01284.x
- The dictionary definition of pentosans at Wiktionary