Pectin was isolated by aqueous extraction at pH 6.0 from the pods of six different okra genotypes (Abelmoschus esculentus L.). Genetic diversity was determined using fragment length analysis (FLA) of ten simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. Physical and chemical evaluation of pectin was performed by means of FT-IR and NMR spectroscopy, sugar composition analysis (GC-MS), size exclusion chromatography coupled to multi-angle laser light scattering (SEC-MALLS), dilute solution viscometry and steady shear rheology assisted by principal component analysis (PCA). Each of the SSR markers detected on average 4.1 alleles and revealed unique genotypes for each sample. Extraction yield was between 11 and 14% resulting in pectin with galacturonic acid content between 43 and 63%, low degree of methyl-esterification (17–25%) and high degree of acetylation (20–40%). All samples were of high weight-average molar mass (Mw) (700–1700 × 103 g mol−1) and sugar composition analysis revealed the structural diversity of samples with HG/RG-I ratios ranging between 1.3 and 3.1. The present work shows that individual okra genotypes provide pectin with different structural properties that could potentially provide a new source of functional pectin for the food or pharmaceutical industries.
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- Department of Biological and Geographical Sciences - Subject Leader Biomedicine/Pharmacology
- School of Applied Sciences
- Cellular and Molecular Models of Disease Centre - Member
- Biopolymer Research Centre - Member
- Microbial Therapeutics and Infection Control Centre - Associate Member