Food Applications

A major application of pectin is in jams and jellies (16). A high-sugar jam contains 30 to 45% of fruit pulp and 0.20 to 0.4% pectin added as a gelling agent. Jams made with HMP must contain at least 60% soluble solids (sugars) to gel. Reduced-sugar or dietetic jams are manufactured with 55% or less soluble solids (even below 30%), by adding low methoxyl pectins (eg, in the range 0.75-1.0%). At very low soluble solids, a calcium salt often is added to aid gellation. Frequently, jellies are made from depectinized fruit concentrates with added pectin, water, and sugar. High-quality, tender confectionery jellies with excellent flavor-release characteristics contain pectin. Pectin is added to jams, fillings, and toppings as a gelling or thickening agent in the preparation of baked goods. HMP jams are useful in applications requiring resistance to the heat of baking such as occurs in producing tarts containing jam. Amidated low methoxyl pectins (ALMP) confer thermal reversibility to gels. These gels are useful as glazes for pastries or flans. Typically, these products are supplied as a paste containing ALMP, calcium diphosphate, and 65% sugar solids, which when diluted and melted can be reset to a clear, shiny glaze on cooling. In recent years, pectin has found increased application as an additive to dairy products. Yogurt containing fruit bases has been growing in popularity. Substituting pectin for modified starch as a thickening agent in yogurts will maintain a uniform distribution of fruit throughout the yogurt without masking delicate fruit flavors. Furthermore, unlike starches, pectin will not introduce a floury texture to yogurts. If the fruit bases contain 60% sugar, then HMP can be added. If the sugar content is lower than 60%, then ALMP is added. HMP stabilized casein against aggregation when heated at a pH less than 4.3. Thus it is added as a stabilizer in ultra-high-temperature-treated yogurt drinks and to milks blended with fruit juices. Pectin also stabilizes acidified soy milk drinks and whey products against protein precipitation. A low level of pectin is often added to low-calorie soft drinks to replace mouth-feel lost with the removal of sugar. Pectin is added to sorbet and ice pops to control ice crystal size; and to ice pops to prevent flavor and color from being sucked from the ice structure. Pectin is added to chutney and sauces to improve texture and batch-to-batch uniformity. LMP and ALMP gels can replace gelatin as a base in dessert jellies for the purpose of providing good flavor release. Pectin gels have higher melting points than gelatin gels and thus hold up better in warm weather.

Pectin has several applications in the pharmaceutical industry. It has been added to mixtures containing kaolin or bismuth compounds for the prevention of diarrhea. Pectin is added to maintain the viscosity of medicinal syrups. Recently, pectin has been employed as a filler in self-adhesive colostomy flanges and to promote healing by its addition to wound dusting powders and ulcer dressings.

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