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Perennial ryegrass, Lolium perenne L., contains a significant amount of fructan and is becoming increasingly attractive as a biorefinery feedstock for the production of ethanol and platform chemicals. Unlike inulin, which consists of linear β (2,1) chains of fructose units terminating with a glucose molecule, fructans from perennial ryegrass consist of fructose chains containing both β (2,1) and β (2,6) linkages. There has been increasing interest in the use of inulin in food products in recent years because of its ability to form gels at high concentrations and because it functions as a dietary fibre. The major commercial source is chicory, and it has been estimated that over 350k tons are sold annually. Ryegrass may offer an alternative source of fructan, and this work aims to characterise and show structural information important to understanding the similarities and differences with chicory inulin.

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