Pectin is a soluble vegetable polysaccharide obtained from an aqueous extract of edible vegetable fibre (usually citrus or apples), which is then precipitated with alcohol and salts. This carbohydrate is used as a gelling, thickening and stabilizing agent due to its hydrocolloid properties.
HIGH-METHOXYL (HM) PECTINS
In aqueous solutions, these pectins create highly viscous suspensions for strong and cohesive gels. This type of pectin is heat-resistant.
- They can form a gel only if the total soluble solids content (TSS) (Brix) is equal to or higher than 60%, with a maximum of 80%.
- The pH required for gelling is 2.0-3.5.
LOW-METHOXYL (LM) PECTINS
The LM pectin family is divided into LMC (conventional low-methoxyl) and LMA (amidated low-methoxyl) branches. LM pectins are thixotropic. After undergoing a cold mixing process, they are gelled again. Depending on the quantities and hydration temperature, they can act as thickeners.
- They form a gel only when calcium ions (Ca++) are present.
- They can gel with low soluble solids (Brix) contents and a very wide pH range.