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Applications of Pectins

Pectin is one of the most versatile stabilizers available. Its gelling, thickening and stabilizing attributes makes is an essential additive in the production of many food products.

Traditionally, pectin was primarily used in the production of jams and fruit jellies - industrially as well as domestically and in low as well as high sugar products. It secures the desired texture, limits the creation of water/juice on top of the surface as well as an even distribution of fruit in the product. With the change in lifestyle pectin is primarily sold for industrial use. In some European markets it is still sold to the consumers as an integrated component in gelling sugar, though.

Product and application development by the major pectin producers has over the years resulted in a large expansion of the opportunities and applicability of pectin. Pectin is a key stabilizer in many food and organic food products as well.

  • Fruit applications
    - Jams, jellies, and desserts

  • Bakery fillings and toppings
    - Fruit preparations for dairy applications

  • Dairy applications
    - Acidified milk and protein drinks
    - Yoghurts (thickening)

  • Confectionery
    - Fruit jellies
    - Neutral jellies

  • Beverages

  • Nutritional and Health Products

  • Pharmaceutical and Medical Applications

Over the years the positive public connotation of pectin has proven helpful in its widespread use, and this may be a contributing factor to the growing interest in investigating pectin for possible direct health benefits and thus applications in regulated non-food segment as well as in functional foods and nutraceuticals. Pectins also find medical and pharmaceutical applications.

This wide range of applications explains the need for many different types of commercial pectins, which are sold according to their application, for example:

  • Rapid Set pectin - traditionally used for jams and marmalades

  • Slow Set Pectin - used for jellies and for some jams and preserves, especially using vacuum cooking at lower temperatures. Also important for higher sugar products like bakery and biscuit jams, sugar confectionery, etc.

  • Stabilising Pectins - used for stabilising acidic protein products such as yoghurts, whey and soya drinks against heat processing.

  • Low methyl ester and amidated pectins - used in a wide range of lower sugar products, reduced sugar preserves, fruit preparations for yoghurts, dessert gels and toppings, and savoury applications such as sauces and marinades. Can also be used in low acid high sugar products such as preserves containing low acid fruits (figs, bananas) and confectionery.

© 2001 IPPA International Pectin Producers Association
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