Components: a structural heteropolysaccharide contained in the primary cell walls of terrestrial plants
• "Pectin is used primarily as a jelling agent in the manufacture of jams and jellies. It also has a number of other applications as a food additive. For example, it is added to some yogurts to provide the consistency that allows the yogurt to hold its shape and still be capable of being stirred. It is added to concentrated fruit drinks to keep the solid and liquid components of the drink in suspension with each other. It is also an ingredient in fruit and milk desserts, added to ensure that the final product has the proper consistency and stability.
Pectin is also used as an additive in pharmaceutical and cosmetic preparations . It acts as an emulsifying agent, to stabilize the product, or to give it the proper consistency. In combination with an antibiotic, pectin has also been used as an anti-diarrheal agent. Some studies have shown that daily doses of pectin may have a small but significant lowering effect on cholesterol levels.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has classified pectin as an approved food additive. It is considered safe for human consumption when used in normal amounts as a food additive. It may cause some digestive problems for people with allergies to citrus fruits. Some studies suggest that pectin may also inhibit the absorption of minerals such as zinc, copper, iron, and calcium, although this effect is not serious enough to prevent its use as a food additive." 1
For More Information
(1) - Schlager, Neil, Weisblatt, Jayne, Newton, David E., and Montney, Charles B. Chemical Compounds Vol. 2; Thomson-Gale: Detroit, MI, 2006; pp 532-3.