What does Pectin mean?

In botany, pectin refers to a substance that can be found in cell walls. Pectin binds the different cells together and is commonly used as a gelling agent in cooking- especially in jellies, jams, sweets, dessert fillings and the likes. An excellent source of dietary fiber, pectin is more commonly extracted from citrus fruit.

More on Pectin

Pectin is a natural starch which is normally found in the cell walls of vegetables and fruits. When combined with sugar and acid and cooked at an extremely high temperature of 220 F, pectin takes upon a gel form. This heteropolysaccharide can be found in abundant quantities in quince and apples.

According to botanists, around 30% of citrus fruits are made of pectin. In most fruits, pectin can primarily be found in the membranes, seeds and rinds. Contrary to popular belief, very ripe fruits do not carry the same quantity of pectin as semi-ripe ones. In such cases, it is recommended to add some extra sugar to extract as much pectin as possible during cooking.

The levels of pectin in different fruits are as follows:

  • Citrus peels: 30%
  • Carrots: 1.4%
  • Oranges: up to 3.5%
  • Cherries: 0.4%
  • Apricots: 1%
  • Apples: up to 1.5%
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