PECLIA™️ Pectin is a unique fiber found in fruits and vegetables.
It’s a soluble fiber known as a polysaccharide, which is a long chain of indigestible sugars. When heated in the presence of liquid, pectin expands and turns into a gel, making it a great thickener for jams and jellies. It also gels in your digestive tract after ingestion, a function that provides numerous health benefits.
Today the major sources are citrus peels, the by-product from the extraction of citrus juice and oil, and apple pomace, the dried residue from the extraction of apple juice. Within the commercially processed types of citrus, the peel from lemons or limes is preferred for most qualities of pectin, although orange peel is available in much larger quantities, and can be used for some applications. Citrus peel may be washed free from acidity and sugar, and carefully dried to preserve the pectin quality, or may be processed directly in the wet state. Wet peel processing requires a large and consistent source of peel very near to the pectin plant.
Pectin is a fiber and contains almost no calories or nutrients. It’s a key ingredient in jams and jellies and used as a soluble fiber supplement.
Pectin provides little nutrition.
One fluid ounce (29 grams) of liquid pectin contains:
- Calories: 3
- Protein: 0 grams
- Fat: 0 grams
- Carbs: 1 gram
- Fiber: 1 gram
Applications in foods
- High sugar jams, jellies, marmalades and preserves
The earliest application for pectin was in fruit jams with 60±70% total soluble solids and a pH in the range 3.0±3.3. For this application, a high methyl ester pectin can be used. The composition of jams is often closely regulated, and the relevant regulations should be checked. In Europe, there are also specific labelling requirements in addition to the general Food Labelling Regulations.
- Low sugar jams and jellies
Low sugar jams and jellies cannot be made with high methyl ester pectins which do not gel when soluble solids are reduced below 60% and are usually best prepared with low methyl ester pectins. Amidated low ester pectin types can most often form a suitable gel texture together with calcium originating from fruit and water in the jam whilst conventional (non-amidated) types normally require the addition of extra calcium. In Europe, only non-amidated pectins may be used if an `organic’ claim is to be made for the product.
- Fruit preparations for bakery products
For fruit preparations for bakery products various special properties may be required, but bake stability is one of the common requirements. For example, in open jam tarts baked with the filling, the jam must flow to give a smooth glossy surface but must not boil out of the pastry case. In such a complex field it is possible to give more than a few typical recipes, and technical assistance in formulating recipes for specific requirements are provided for our customers.