Sunday, May 28, 2023

Pectin in blueberries

Pectin is a heterogeneous grouping of acidic structural polysaccharides, found in fruit and vegetables. Blueberries are naturally high in pectin. Blueberry contains more than 2% fiber and about 0.5% pectin. Pectin is an anionic polysaccharide and is the only fiber in fruit that carries charges.

Its structure consists mainly of linear chains of galacturonic acid. Its pKa is in the range of 2.9–3.3, and therefore pectin is typically negatively charged in most food systems. Pectins are mainly used as gelling agents, but can also act as thickener, water binder and stabilizer.

Pectin makes up between about 2% and 35% of plant cell walls that is composed of acidic sugar-containing backbones with neutral sugar-containing side chains. It functions in cell adhesion and wall hydration, and pectin crosslinking influences wall porosity and plant morphogenesis. Pectin is important for plant growth. regulation of ion and water exchange, development, and defense.

Pectin is synthesized in the Golgi apparatus, which in plants is also the assembly site for glycoproteins, proteoglycans, and other complex polysaccharides.

These natural sources of pectin are processed to create the liquid and powdered pectin used in home kitchens and by the food and medical industries. There are different types of pectin depending on the ingredients people combine pectin with and the desired outcome (e.g., a thick jelly or a thinner medication).
Pectin in blueberries

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