Cole. C.G.B. and Roberts J.J. Department
of Food Science. University of Pretoria. Pretoria. 0002. RSA.
Originally published in: THE SA JOURNAL OF FOOD
SCIENCE AND NUTRITION. 8(4) 1996. 139-143.
Gelatine (Type B) was manufactured from
the hides of bovines of known age at slaughter, after 4 weeks of liming
at 22°C. The extractability of the hide, gelatine colour and fluorescence
were measured. The 335/385 nm fluorescence indicated the presence of the
pentosidine cross-link which was correlated with the gelatine colour and
collagen extractability (p > 0.95). Type A gelatine from calf skin exhibited
an additional excitation maximum at 295 nm due to the alkali labile pyridinoline
collagen cross-link thus explaining the extractability phenomena observed.
Prior study of gelatine fluorescence appears
to have been limited to the investigation of Thornton (1966) in which home-made
equipment using filters was used to demonstrate gelatine sol and gel fluorescence
depolarisation. Recently, there have been many reports on the fluorescence
of collagen which is the precursor of gelatine. Tanaka et al. (1988)
reported an increase in fluorescence with time, for rat tail collagen incubated
in the presence of ribose at 35°C for up to two weeks. They showed
that a similar increase in collagen fluorescence occurred as a result of
animal age. In addition, when soluble collagen was incubated with ribose,
dimers and trimers of the collagen -chain were formed which confirmed that
the fluorescence was associated with cross-linking. Sell and Monnier (1989)
isolated the "pentosidine" collagen cross-link from human collagen (dura
mater). They correlated the increase in quantity of fluorescence with age
and elucidated the structure of the cross-link by synthesis. This involved
heating equimolar quantities of lysine, arginine and ribose at pH 7.2 and
80°C for one hour. They claimed that similar treatment of a mixture
of lysine, arginine and glucose did not result in the formation of a fluorescent
product. Hence, there was a "problem" in accounting for the source of the
ribose used in the formation of the collagen cross-link. Monnier et
al. (1990) used the 335/385 nm fluorescent collagen "pentosidine" cross-link
as the basis of a theory that senescence was the result of the Maillard
reaction between functional proteins and ribose. The resulting impaired
functionality of the protein was regarded as the well documented manifestations
of age. In their review "The Maillard reaction in vivo", Dyer et al.
(1991) state that "since pentosidine contains only 5 carbons from the sugar
component, its formation from glucose must involve the loss of a carbon
atom either from glucose itself or from a later intermediate in the reaction.
...While its (pentosidine's) origin from ribose vs. glucose and other sugars
may be uncertain.....". This indicated that there was evidence (from Baynes
al. 1990) for the formation of pentosidine from glucose. In the study
of Uchiyama et al. (1991) human articular cartilage was treated
with collagenase. An increase in 335/385 nm fluorescence of the digests
was shown to correlate linearly with increasing age. Furthermore, they
demonstrated that the 295/395 nm fluorescence was due to the pyridinoline
collagen cross-link and that the amount of this cross-link was largely
invariant with age. In addition the 335/385 nm fluorophore was shown to
be identical with "pentosidine" of Sell and Monnier (1989). Eyre (1988)
gave the details of the methodology for the isolation of hydroxylysylpyridinoline
(HP) and lysylpyridinolin (LP) cross-links of collagen which were fluorescent
and it was stated that these cross-links could be detected in polyacrylamide
electrophoresis gels using an excitation wavelength of 330 nm and an emission
wavelength of 395 nm. However, pyridinoline cross-links were not found
in skin collagen (Yamauchi et al. 1988).
Based on the observation that gelatine
colour also increased with animal age (loc sit) it appeared reasonable
to hypothesize that gelatine colour could be the result of the Maillard
reaction (in vivo). From the report by Odetti et al. (1994)
it appeared that fluorometry was an accepted technique for studying pentosidine's
relationship to ageing phenomena. Hence, if gelatine exhibited fluorescence
at 335/385 nm and the fluorescence increased with colour and animal age,
it would follow from the work of Uchiyama et al. (1991) that the
colour could be attributable to the formation of pentosidine collagen cross-links.
MATERIALS and METHODS.
All fluorescence determinations were conducted
in duplicate and reagent grade chemicals were used, unless otherwise indicated.
The salted hides of animals of known date
of birth and date of slaughter were supplied by the Irene Animal Production
Institute, Pretoria, RSA.
The whole hide was cut into approximately
100 x 100mm pieces. A quantity (5-7 kg) was taken and washed free of salt
overnight using a stainless steel (13 RPM) tumbler fitted with a continuous
supply of water (through one axel) and a perforated plate in the door for
drainage. The washed hide was placed in 20 kg of conditioning liquor containing
of sodium sulphide (2g/l) and calcium hydroxide (40g/l). (Commercial chemicals
were used). The hide was conditioned for 4 weeks at 22°C ± 2°C.
The conditioning liquor was stirred every second or third day in order
to prevent localised reductions in pH. After stirring the temperature was
recorded. After conditioning the hide was again washed overnight in the
tumbler and then acidulated using 5 x 20 l lots of sulphurous acid solution
(0.1M) (commercial) over 4 days followed by soaking in tap water for 1
day. The material was then converted to gelatine by sequential 5 hour extractions
in water (at 45°C, 50°C, 55°C, respectively) and finally by
boiling (93°C) for 7 hours. After each extraction the gelatine solution
was separated from the solid residue using a colander. The volume of each
separated gelatine solution was determined. An aliquot of the solution
was then filtered through Whatman 541 filter paper after which the concentration
was determined gravimetrically in duplicate by drying 10 ml of solution
at 105°C for 40 to 48 hours. The weight of the dry film was multiplied
by 11.4286 to obtain the concentration (% gelatine containing 12.5% moisture)
of the original solution. From the volume and gelatine concentration, the
total amount of gelatine extracted was calculated. The gelatine produced
in each extraction was expressed as the % of the total amount of gelatine
recovered from a particular sample of hide. This was a measure of the "extractability"
of the hide. Statistical correlations between animal age, raw material
extractability, gelatine colour and fluorescence intensity were calculated
using the linear regression facility of the Quattro spreadsheet (Borland
International, 4585 Scotts Valley Drive, Scotts Valley, CA 95066, USA)
The bulk of each gelatine extraction liquor
(excluding the boil solutions) was filtered through paper pulp and then
vacuum evaporated at 40 to 42°C using a rising film glass evaporator,
to about 10% concentration, before refiltration through paper pulp. The
concentrated gelatine liquor was then treated with a 5% ammonia solution
as well as a 5% hydrogen peroxide solution until the liquor exhibited an
approximate 10 ppm excess of peroxide and a pH of 5.0 to 5.5 (using Merck
indicator strips). The solution was then set in a refrigerator, cut into
slices and dried overnight in a current of air to about a 10% moisture
content. The sheets of dry gelatine were ground (using a domestic coffee
grinder) to a powder to facilitate analysis using British Standard 757:1975
The colour and clarity of the gelatine
were determined by in-house methods:
a) Gelatine solution (60 ml at 40°C)
from the Bloom strength determination (6.67%) was diluted to 100 ml using
40°C distilled water and then compared, using 100 ml Nessler tubes,
to 100 ml of a 4% solution of a standard gelatine (with an ascribed colour
of 8.0). Solution was poured out of the darker Nessler tube until a match
was obtained. The colour of the unknown gelatine was then calculated in
accordance with Beer's Law. For example, if 60 ml of unknown matched 100
ml of standard (colour 8) then the colour of the unknown was 100x8/60 =
13.3. This method was used to determine the colour of all the gelatines
produced, including the colour of the gelatine in the boil liquor. Using
the quantity of gelatine in each extraction and its colour the overall
or composite colour of the gelatine from each lot of hide was calculated.
b) Gelatine solution clarity was determined
by filling a Turbidimeter (ICM Turbidimeter. ICM. 163 S.W. Freeman, Hillsboro.
OR 97123. USA) cuvette (20 ml) with molten Bloom sample (6.67% gelatine)
and reading the turbidity in NTU. The meter was calibrated daily against
a 40 NTU standard supplied by the instrument manufacturer.
Gelatine fluorescence was determined
using 1% solutions of gelatine made by weighing aliquots (0.20 g) of gelatine
powder into 50 ml clear glass bottles. Distilled water (20 ml) was added
by pipette. Screw caps were applied to the bottles and the gelatine was
allowed to swell for 20 min. The bottles were then placed in a 40°C
waterbath and swirled several times over 30 min. to achieve complete solution
of the gelatine. The sample fluorescence intensity was determined using
a Schimadzu RF-5000 (Schimadzu Corporation, 3, Kandu - Nishikicho 1 Chome,
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101, Japan.) spectrofluorophotometer in transmission
mode and a 1 cm2 quartz cuvette . The excitation wavelengths
were scanned using a fixed emission wavelength and the emission wavelengths
were scanned using a fixed excitation wavelength. Results were recorded
by means of a thermal printer. Fluorescence was monitored also at 335/385
nm for the pentosidine collagen cross-link and the 295/395 nm for the pyridinoline
collagen cross-link with results being recorded from the cathode-ray tube
RESULTS and DISCUSSION
Figure 1. Fluorescence emission spectrum of pale
Type B gelatine from 10 month old calf
skin (YSA/2). Excitation at 335 nm..
Colour = 4.4.
Figure 2 Fluorescence emission spectrum of dark
Type B gelatine from 12 year old Inguni
cow skin (IOB/1). Excitation at 335 nm.
Colour = 16.0
Figure 3. Fluorescence excitation spectrun of Type B
gelatine. Emission at 395 nm.
Figure 4. Excitation spectrum of Type A calfskin
gelatine. Emission at 385 nm.
In Figures 1 and 2 the first peaks at 360 nm are
due to Rayleigh scatter (Munck 1989). Figure 1 shows the fluorescence emission
spectrum (FES) of Type B Gelatine from a 10 month-old animal (i.e. alkali
treated collagen). It was found to be limited to an excitation wavelength
peak at 335 nm with emission maxima at 385 and 410 nm. Figure 2 shows the
FES of gelatine from a 12 year old animal. The marked increase in fluorescence
intensity of the gelatine from the older animal was noted. Figure 3 shows
the excitation scan and confirms that there was only one peak at 335 nm
(for alkali process gelatines).
Type A gelatine was made from calf (less than 6 months
of age) skin using the acid conditioning process (Reich et al. 1962)
usually used for the manufacture of gelatine from pigskin. This gelatine
exhibited 335/385 nm fluorescence and it also had a 295 nm fluorescence
excitation maximum as shown in Figure 4.
Table 1. Colour and fluorescence data for gelatines
derived from bovines of known age.
|OVERALL COLOUR||% EXTRACTABILITY||COLOUR
in Davis Units.
|FLUORESCENCE. 385 nm Emission Intensity - Excitation @ 335 nm.|
Samples had equal conditioning - 4
weeks, except for YSA which had 2 weeks.
- Not applicable.
The extractability, 335/385 fluorescence
and colour data for gelatines from bovines with ages ranging from 10 to
156 months is shown in Table 1. It should be noted that an alkali conditioning
time of 4 weeks was used for all the gelatines except those derived from
the 10 month old animal where a conditioning time of 2 weeks was used.
The following linear correlations were obtained:
1. Animal age & Overall colour.
r = 0.976, df = 6, p = 0.9995
2. Animal age and 1st extraction colour.
r = 0.928, df = 6, p = 0.9990
3. Animal age and 45°C extractability.
r = -0.902, df = 5, p = 0.995
4. Animal age and 1st extraction fluorescence.
r = 0.895, df = 6, p = 0.9975
5. 1st (45°C) Extractability &
r = -0.910, df = 5, p = 0.9975
6. 1st extraction colour & 1st extraction
r = 0.957, df = 6, p = 0.9995
7. 2nd (50°C) Extractability &
r = -0.852, df = 6, p = 0.995
8. 2nd extraction Colour & Fluorescence.
r = 0.771, df = 6, p = 0.975
The above correlations show that the most
significant linear correlation was (1) between animal age and overall colour.
There were also significant correlations between gelatine 1st and 2nd extractability
and colour, as well as between 1st and 2nd extraction gelatine colour and
pentosidine fluorescence intensity. Therefore, the Maillard cross-linking,
as determined by fluorescence intensity, affected both hide extractability
and gelatine colour (a not unexpected observation). Furthermore, it implies
that the colour moiety was covalently linked to the protein and was probably
not a removable contaminant.
The drop in correlation coefficients from
1st extraction to 2nd extraction could indicate that the Maillard cross-link
is not the only contributor to gelatine extractability and colour. The
implication is that there could be other contributing factor(s) responsible
for these phenomena. In addition, the less significant correlation between
animal age and first extraction colour and fluorescence confirmed that
the amount of Maillard reaction was not simply a function of animal age
nor was gelatine colour purely a function of Maillard reaction. (For example,
first extraction colour could vary with the time of conditioning as well
as animal age).
From correlation 3 above it was evident
that as animals became older the collagen extractability decreased. In
addition, from the approximately 290 nm fluorescence in Figures 4 it would
appear that bovine hide gelatine does in fact contain a detectable amount
of pyridinoline cross-link. This cross-link was evidently alkali labile
as found by Eyre et al. (1984) as this fluorescence was not seen
in Figure 3. Furthermore, the 295/395 nm fluorescence was not found with
any gelatine from alkali treated hides. Hence, if it was accepted that
the pyridinoline cross-link does exist in bovine hide, that the amount
is constant (as shown by Uchiyama et al. 1991) and that the cross-link
is alkali labile, then the extractability phenomena as shown in Table 1
could be explained as follows:
Although it is recognised that there are
a number of nonfluorescent collagen cross-links, it was significant that
young 10 month-old animal hide collagen exhibited very high extractability
after a very moderate (2 weeks) liming presumably due to the destruction
of predominating pyridinoline cross-links. As the animal age increased
so the pyridinoline cross-link became of lesser significance compared to
the alkali stable (pentosidine) cross-links. The result was that liming
had a progressively smaller effect on the extractability of the hide.
This investigation showed that bovine hide
gelatine exhibited fluorescence due to both the pyridinoline (295/395 nm)
and the pentosidine (335/385 nm) collagen cross-links. In most cases, however,
the pyridinoline fluorescence was not observed because this raw material
had been treated with alkali prior to conversion to gelatine.
The strong correlation (r = 0.95) between
the first extraction gelatine colour and the first extraction pentosidine
335/385 nm fluorescence showed that, at least in part, the colour of bovine
hide gelatine was attributable to the in vivo Maillard reaction.
The superior correlation (r = 0.976) between overall colour and senescence
indicated that virtually all the colour of gelatine was related to animal
age but that there was at least one more chromophore unrelated to pentosidine
fluorescence which needs to be identified or characterised.
The response of bovine hide to liming can
be explained by the presence of alkali labile pyridinoline cross-links
which become less and less important as additional alkali stable (pentosidine)
cross-links are formed with senescence.
British Standard 757. 1975. (BS 757:1975).
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Eyre, R.E., Paz, M.A., Gallup, P.M. 1984. Cross-linking in collagen and elastin. Annual Review of Biochemistry 53: 717-748.
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Tanaka, S., Avigad, G., Eikenberry, E.F., Brodsky, B. 1988.Isolation and partial characterization of collagen chains dimerized by sugar-derived cross-links. Journal of Biological Chemistry 263: 17650-17657.
Thornton, A.C.R. 1966. Depolarisation of fluorescence studies on gelatin sols and gels. Gelatine and Glue Research Association Research Report A.33. April 1966.
Uchiyama, A., Ohishi, T., Takahashi, M., Kushida, K., Inoue, T., Jugie, M., Horiuchi, K. 1991. Fluorophores from ageing human articular cartilage. Journal of Biochemistry (Tokyo) 110: 714-718.
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Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Ph.D (Food Science). University of Pretoria.
Thanks to Leiner Davis Gelatin (South Africa)
for their support.