Denman, Laura J. and Morris, Gordon (2015) An experimental design approach to the chemical characterisation of pectin polysaccharides extracted from Cucumis melo Inodorus. Carbohydrate Polymers, 117. pp. 364-369. ISSN 0144-8617

Extracted pectins have been utilised in a number of applications in both the food and pharmaceutical industries where they are generally used as gelling agents, thickeners and stabilisers, although a number of pectins have been shown to be bioactive. These functional properties will depend upon extraction conditions.

A statistical experimental design approach was used to study the effects of extraction conditions pH, time and temperature on pectins extracted from Cucumis melo Inodorus.

The results show that the chemical composition is very sensitive to these conditions and that this has a great influence on for example the degree of branching. Higher temperatures, lower pHs and longer extraction times lead to a loss of the more acid labile arabinofuranose residues present on the pectin side chain. The fitting of regression equations relating yield and composition to extraction conditions can therefore lead to tailor-made pectins for specific properties and/ or applications.

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