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Introduction to Pectin - Sources

Sources of Pectin

The traditional, commercial sources of pectin have been citrus peel and apple pomace. Often this is a waste material from another industry such as apple pomace from a cider producer.

Citrus peel has often been the preferred material for pectin manufacture due to its high pectin content and good colour properties. Generally lemon and lime peel are the preferred sources of citrus pectin. The peel must be unlimed and it cannot be enzyme treated. Lime treatment of the peel would hydrolyse all the pectin to pectic acid and peel that has been treated with enzyme to ease the peel removal will have the molecular weight of the pectin reduced.

More recently other sources of pectin are beginning to find markets such as sugar beet pectin and sunflower pectin. Sugar beet pectin in particular is finding a niche market due to its unusual emulsifiaction properties. the amounts of pectin from these different sources varies considerably:

  • Apple pomace: 10-15%
  • Citrus peel: 25-35%
  • Sugar beet: 10-20%
  • Sunflower: 15-25%