Pectin at the oil-water interface: Relationship of molecular composition and structure to functionality

K. Alba, V. Kontogiorgos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

153 Citations (Scopus)


The present review examines how macromolecular structure and functional groups of pectin affect its functionality with particular focus on its interfacial activity. We venture into a description of the particularly complex pectin structure and describe the major building blocks and their properties. In the following section, the role of each structural parameter is discussed with particular attention to protein, degree of acetylation and methylation, molecular weight, and branching. Finally, we discuss how modification of the extraction conditions could be tailored to obtain pectin with the desired emulsification properties. It is proposed that pectin with protein content in the range of 3%, with degree of acetylation greater than 10%, molecular weight between 100 and 200 × 103 g mol-1 and enriched in RG-I segments is more likely to perform well as an emulsifier. To tailor such a structure, an aqueous extraction protocol with low pH values (between 2.5 and 3.5) with a strong monoprotic acid (e.g., HCl) and one-step solvent precipitation should be selected. The proposed set of extraction conditions could be used as a first step towards rational design of pectin with desirable interfacial functionality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-218
Number of pages8
JournalFood Hydrocolloids
Early online date25 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


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