These are composed of at least 90% amylopectin that is etherified with hydroxyethyl groups. The degree of etherification is indicated by the prefix with hetastarch more etherified than pentastarch. The degree of substitution reflects the number of hydroxyethyl groups per glucose unit. The starch solutions have a large range of molecular weights. The polymerized glucose units are primarily joined by 1-4 linkages and the hydroxyethyl groups are attached to the 2 carbon of the glucose moiety making the resultant polymer similar to glycogen.
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