AbstractThe integrated forest biorefinery (IFBR) concept provides a promising opportunity for the development of the pulp and paper industry. One proposed next generation technology for an integrated forest biorefinery is the extraction of hemicelluloses, allowing the co-production of pulp and different hemicellulose-based chemicals. In addition to paper properties, hemicelluloses are known to be important for the function of cationic papermaking additives, because they are the main source of charged groups in fibers. This paper shows that the alkaline extraction of hemicelluloses from bleached kraft pulp decreases both the total and surface charge of the pulps. It was found that the decreased fiber charge leads to increased filler retention with fixed retention aid dosage. The reduction observed in the fiber surface charge for alkali-extracted pulp was mainly attributed to the decrease in the amount of anionic groups located in fines.