Enzymatic modification of pectin for improved functional properties
Hunter, Janice Lee
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Pectin can be used as a stabilizer in foods such as drinkable yogurts, protein fortified sports drinks, flavored milks, and liquid diet drinks. The structure of pectin influences its functional properties. Commercial pectin was modified by alkali, fungal pectin methyl esterase (PME), or Valencia PME to study the effect of type of de-esterification on apparent molecular weight. The apparent molecular weight of pectin did not change by different Valencia PME treatment, was increased by fungal PME, and decreased by alkali saponification. Modification of pectin with Valencia PME produces a block-wise de-esterification pattern over the pectin backbone, which allows for calcium gelation. Upon fractionation by ion exchange chromatography (IEC), pooled pectin fractions were found to have varying molecular weight (MW), de-esterification values (%DE), and calc ium affinities. By changing pectin functionality, different types of pectin can be used for different applications.