Pectin is a naturally occurring substance (a polyscaccaride) found in berries, apples and other fruit. When heated together with sugar, it causes a thickening that is characteristic of jams and jellies.
Pectin is partial methyl esters of polygalacturonic acid and their sodium, potassium, calcium and ammonium salts obtained by extraction in an aqueous medium of appropriate edible plant material, usually citrus fruits, apple & sunflower. In some type of pectins, a portion of the methyl esters may have been converted to primary amides by treatment with ammonia. Commercial product is normally diluted with sugars for standardization purpose. These are further specified to pH value, gel strength, viscosity, degree of esterification and setting characteristics.
Yugen Chemicals Pvt. Ltd. is one of the largest Supplier & exporter for Pectin in India, We offer Pectin in two forms i.e Liquid Pectin and Dry Pectin Powder.
The main use for pectin (vegetable agglutinate) is as a gelling agent, thickening agent and stabilizer in food. The classical application is giving the jelly-like consistency to jams or marmalades, which would otherwise be sweet juices. Pectin also reduces syneresis in jams and marmalades and increases the gel strength of low calorie jams. For conventional jams and marmalades that contain above 60% sugar and soluble fruit solids, high-ester pectins are used. With low-ester pectins and amidated pectins less sugar is needed, so that diet products can be made.
Pectin is used in confectionery jellies to give a good gel structure, a clean bite and to confer a good flavour release. Pectin can also be used to stabilize acidic protein drinks, such as drinking yogurt, to improve the mouth-feel and the pulp stability in juice based drinks and as a fat substitute in baked goods. Typical levels of pectin used as a food additive are between 0.5 and 1.0% – this is about the same amount of pectin as in fresh fruit.
In medicine, pectin increases viscosity and volume of stool so that it is used against constipation and diarrhea. Until 2002, it was one of the main ingredients used in Kaopectate a medication to combat diarrhea, along with kaolinite. It has been used in gentle heavy metal removal from biological systems. Pectin is also used in throat lozenges as a demulcent.
In cosmetic products, pectin acts as stabilizer. Pectin is also used in wound healing preparations and specialty medical adhesives, such as colostomy devices.
Sriamornsak revealed that pectin could be used in various oral drug delivery platforms, e.g., controlled release systems, gastro-retentive systems, colon-specific delivery systems and mucoadhesive delivery systems, according to its intoxicity and low cost. It was found that pectin from different sources provides different gelling abilities, due to variations in molecular size and chemical composition. Like other natural polymers, a major problem with pectin is inconsistency in reproducibility between samples, which may result in poor reproducibility in drug delivery characteristics.
In ruminant nutrition, depending on the extent of lignification of the cell wall, pectin is up to 90% digestible by bacterial enzymes. Ruminant nutritionists recommend that the digestibility and energy concentration in forages can be improved by increasing pectin concentration in the forage.
In the cigar industry, pectin is considered an excellent substitute for vegetable glue and many cigar smokers and collectors will use pectin for repairing damaged tobacco wrapper leaves on their cigars.
If gel formation is too strong, due to way too much pectin, the jam becomes stiff, lumpy or granular in texture.
Cooking too long, but not at a high temperature, can boil off water, without breaking the pectin down. This results in jam that is too stiff.
This also occurs if the temperature is too high, for too long, or the jam is not stirred frequently.
Using underripe fruit, which has more pectin than ripe fruit, with the same amount of pectin as the recipe requires for ripe fruit, also makes stiff jellies and jams. FYI, commercial pectin is intended for use with fully ripe (but not overripe) fruit.
Undercooking (it must hit a full rolling boil for ONE minute) or too little pectin or sugar leads to runny jam.
Overheating - that is too high temperatures or uneven heat distribution builds excess heat which causes the pectin to break down. This is why you shouldn't double batches - due to inherently uneven heating of home cookware - commercial canning equipment is design to heat more uniformly.
Pears, apples, guavas, quince, plums, gooseberries, and oranges and other citrus fruits contain large amounts of pectin, while soft fruits like cherries, grapes, and strawberries contain small amounts of pectin.
Typical levels of pectin in plants are (fresh weight):
carrots approx. 1.4%
citrus peels, 30%
The main raw materials for pectin production are dried citrus peel or apple pomace, both by-products of juice production. Pomace from sugar beet is also used to a small extent.
From these materials, pectin is extracted by adding hot dilute acid at pH-values from 1.5 – 3.5. During several hours of extraction, the protopectin loses some of its branching and chain length and goes into solution. After filtering, the extract is concentrated in vacuum and the pectin then precipitated by adding ethanol or isopropanol. An old technique of precipitating pectin with aluminium salts is no longer used (apart from alcohols and polyvalent cations, pectin also precipitates with proteins and detergents).
Alcohol-precipitated pectin is then separated, washed and dried. Treating the initial pectin with dilute acid leads to low-esterified pectins. When this process includes ammonium hydroxide, amidated pectins are obtained. After drying and milling, pectin is usually standardised with sugar and sometimes calcium salts or organic acids to have optimum performance in a particular application.