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«PECTINS Prepared at the 57th JECFA (2001) and published in FNP 52 Add 9 (2001), superseding specifications prepared at the 39th JECFA (1992) and ...»


Prepared at the 57th JECFA (2001) and published in FNP 52 Add 9 (2001),

superseding specifications prepared at the 39th JECFA (1992) and

published in FNP 52 Add 1 (1992). A group ADI “not specified” was

established for pectins and amidated pectins, singly or in combination at

the 25th JECFA in 1981.

INS No. 440


Consists mainly of the partial methyl esters of polygalacturonic acid and


their sodium, potassium, calcium and ammonium salts; obtained by extraction in an aqueous medium of appropriate edible plant material, usually citrus fruits or apples; no organic precipitants shall be used other than methanol, ethanol and isopropanol; in some types a portion of the methyl esters may have been converted to primary amides by treatment with ammonia under alkaline conditions. Sulfur dioxide may be added as a preservative.

The commercial product is normally diluted with sugars for standardization purposes. In addition to sugars, pectins may be mixed with suitable foodgrade buffer salts required for pH control and desirable setting characteristics. The article of commerce may be further specified as to pH value, gel strength, viscosity, degree of esterification, and setting characteristics.

C.A.S. number 9000-69-5 White, yellowish, light greyish or light brownish powder


FUNCTIONAL USES Gelling agent, thickener, stabilizer, emulsifier



Test for pectins Passes test See description under TESTS Test for amide group Passes test (amidated pectins only) Add 2 ml of hydrochloric acid and 50 ml of 60% ethanol to 0.5 g of the sample, and stir well for 20 min. Transfer to a fritted glass filter tube wash with six 10 ml portions of the HCl-60% ethanol mixture. Dissolve in 100 ml distilled water; it may be necessary to add a few drops 0.1 mol/L sodium hydroxide to achieve solution. Transfer 4 ml of this solution into a test tube (recommended dimensions 15.5 mm inner diameter and 146 mm length).

Add 1 ml 5 mol/L sodium hydroxide and mix. The mixture will form a gel.

Fill a small glass tube (recommended dimensions 7.8 mm inner diameter and 79 mm length) with 2.5 ml boric acid TS and

–  –  –

Add exactly 20 ml of 0.5 mol/L sodium hydroxide TS, stopper, shake vigorously and let stand for 15 min. Add exactly 20 ml of 0.5 mol/L hydrochloric acid and shake until the pink colour disappears. Titrate with

0.1 mol/L sodium hydroxide to a faint pink colour which persists after vigorous shaking; record this value as the saponification titre (V2).

Quantitatively transfer the contents of the conical flask into a 500-ml distillation flask fitted with a Kjeldahl trap and a water-cooled condenser, the delivery tube of which extends well beneath the surface of a mixture of 150 ml of carbon dioxide-free water and 20.0 ml of 0.1 mol/L hydrochloric acid in a receiving flask. To the distillation flask add 20 ml of a 1-in-10 sodium hydroxide solution, seal the connections, and then begin heating carefully to avoid excessive foaming. Continue heating until 80-120 ml of distillate has been collected. Add a few drops of methyl red TS to the receiving flask, and titrate the excess acid with 0.1 mol/L sodium hydroxide recording the volume required, in ml, as S. Perform a blank determination on 20.0 ml of 0.1 mol/L hydrochloric acid, and record the volume required, in ml, as B. The amide titre is (B - S).

Transfer exactly one-tenth of total net weight of the dried sample (representing 0.5 g of the original unwashed sample) and wet with about 2 ml ethanol in a 50-ml beaker. Dissolve the pectin in 25 ml 0.125 mol/L sodium hydroxide. Let the solution stand for 1 h with agitation at room temperature. Transfer quantitatively the saponified pectin solution to a 50ml measuring flask and dilute to the mark with distilled water. Transfer

20.00 ml of the diluted pectin solution to a distillation apparatus and add 20 ml of Clark's solution, which consists of 100 g of magnesium sulfate heptahydrate and 0.8 ml of concentrated sulphuric acid and distilled water to a total of 180 ml. This apparatus consists of a steam generator connected to a round-bottom flask to which a condenser is attached. Both steam generator and round-bottom flask are equipped with heating mantles.

Start the distillation by heating the round-bottom flask containing the sample. Collect the first 15 ml of distillate separately in a measuring cylinder. Then start the steam supply and continue distillation until 150 ml of distillate have been collected in a 200-ml beaker. Add quantitatively the first 15 ml distillate and titrate with 0.05 mol/L sodium hydroxide to pH 8.5 and record volume required, in ml, as A.

Perform a blank determination on 20 ml distilled water. Record the required volume, in ml, as A0. The acetate ester titre is (A - A0).

Calculate degree of amidation (as % of total carboxyl groups) by the


Calculate mg of galacturonic acid by the formula:

–  –  –

Quantify the methanol, ethanol and 2-propanol present in the sample by comparing the peak areas with the corresponding peaks obtained by chromatographing the headspace produced by substituting in the procedure 1 ml of an aqueous solution containing 50 mg/l each of methanol, ethanol and 2-propanol for 1 ml of sample solution.

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