A significant amount of work has been done so far on the mannan from the aloe pulp. In comparison, research on other aloe pulp polysaccharides has been sporadic and even fewer efforts have been made to analyze the polysaccharides in the rind. It is clear that much effort is needed in this regard.
Two features of the mannan, the P1 ^ 4 linkage and acetylation, are highly conserved among all Aloe species. Significant variations exist regarding the presence of other sugars, primarily glucose and the degree of acetylation. The research so far strongly suggests that there are two types of mannans in the pulp, a pure mannan that is essentially free of glucose and another mannan (glucomannan) that contains various amounts of glucose, maybe along with other sugars. Much effort is still needed to determine proportions of these two types of mannans in any given Aloe species and the differences in chemical and biological properties between them. Evidence has suggested that the mannan or glucomannan with a low glucose content is more heavily acetylated than the glucomannan with a high glucose content.
Effort is also needed to identify and isolate the enzymes involved in the synthesis and modification of the mannan. Such information is crucial to understand the location of its synthesis and how the chemical and functional properties of the mannan is controlled.
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