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Any of a class of substances which occur as constituents of the cell walls of plants and are polysaccharides of simpler structure than cellulose.
- ‘Cooking softens the hemicellulose of vegetables, allowing the nutrients that are present in the food to be more accessible for digestion.’
- ‘The agricultural residues are made up of cellulose and hemicellulose, known as cellulosic materials.’
- ‘Plant cell walls are composed primarily of cellulose microfibrils, hemicelluloses, pectic polysaccharides, and small amounts of structural proteins.’
- ‘Pectins and hemicelluloses, two of the major cell wall components, undergo solubilization and depolymerization.’
- ‘Dietary fibre consists of plant material such as cellulose, hemicellulose, pectin, polysaccharides, gums, mucilage and lignin.’
Late 19th century: coined in German from hemi- + cellulose.
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