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Chemically, pectin consists of the partial methyl esters of polygalacturonic acid and their salts (sodium, potassium, calcium and ammonia), with a molecular weight of up to 150,000 Daltons.
Pectin is obtained by aqueous extraction of the appropriate edible plant materials, mainly from citrus peel and apple pomace, followed by a selective precipitation using alcohol or salts. The raw materials used contain a large amount of pectin with superior quality and are available in sufficient quantities to make the manufacturing process more cost effective.
Pectin is usually classified according to the degree of methoxylation (DM). The degree of methoxylation is expressed as a percentage of esterified galacturonic acid units to total galacturonic acid units in the molecule of pectin.
Pectin produced by the normal extraction process contains more than 50% of methoxyl groups and is classified as high methoxyl (HM) pectin.