The gelling properties of pectin are known to be closely related to the degree of methylation (DM) and the distribution of the ester groups. In order to investigate this dependency, a natural citrus pectin (DM=64%) has been methylated to pectins with higher DM’s or saponified to achieve pectins with lower DM. A simple method for determination of DM by 1H-NMR spectroscopy is presented. New modified pectins have been prepared by treatment of pectins having different DM’s with NaBH4 to reduce selectively the methyl esters to primary alcohols in the presence of free acids. The degree of reduction (DR) and the DM of the remaining carboxylic acids could likewise be determined by 1H-NMR spectroscopy. The new reduced pectins can be tolerated by the pectin degrading enzymes polygalacturonase PGI and PGII as well as by pectin lyase, all from Aspergillus niger, but the enzymes exhibit lower specific activities than with unmodified pectin. The new reduced pectins exhibit high gelling properties. Keywords: Pectin; Methylation; Deesterification; Reduction; DM and DR by 1H-NMR spectroscopy; Reduced Pectin; Pectinases; Gelling properties.
|Publication status||Published - 2003|