Pectin is a polysaccharide that is naturally present in most land plants, although commercial pectin is primarily extracted from citrus peel and apple pomace. Two forms of commercial pectin are available: high methyl- and low methyl-esterified pectin; and two versions of the latter exist: a conventional and an amidated form. High methyl-esterified pectin forms gels in high soluble solids and acidic systems, whereas low methyl-esterified pectin forms gels in a much broader pH and soluble-solids range, but requires the presence of divalent cations for gelling. As a consequence,each type has its own particular function. Nevertheless, general attractive features include excellent flavour release, good processing characteristics and stability at low pH. Its traditional and major function is to act as a gelling agent in foods but, nowadays, it also serves as a thickening and stabilising agent.
The application of pectin is diverse and covers fruit-based products, dairy products, acidified milk drinks and other beverages, confectionery, bakery products, various fine foods and spreads. Additionally, pectin is used in the pharmaceutical industry. Finally, increasing consumer awareness of healthy life-style habits and the emerging trend to produce functional foods increases the significance of the status of pectin as a water-soluble dietary fibre.
Pectin is used as a gelling, thickening and stabilising agent in pharmaceuticals. Basically, pectin is used to control water in products and help to create the desired texture.Drug carries also could be made by pectin, for enteric coating tablets.