Monday, May 26, 2008

Banana skins offer cheap pectin

Banana skins offer cheap pectin
Tapping into the trend for alternative sources of pectin, researchers have reported that pectin from banana skin could find application as a gelling agent. Characterization of banana skin pectin showed that the degree of methylation, an important parameter for gel strength, was wide ranging, indicating the ingredient could probably gel with calcium or with high sugar concentrations in acidic condition.

Also reports the ideal extraction conditions of the pectin for potential food uses: pH 2.0 for one hour at 90 degrees Celsius.

The functionality of pectin is dictated by the chemical fine structure, and the majority of the pectin used currently comes from citrus peel and apple pomace. Other sources of the ingredient have remained largely unexploited because of certain undesirable structural properties.

All the values of the extracted pectins were low, indicating that pectins from banana peels were slightly acetylated like commercial citrus pectin.

There could also be an economic interest in exploiting banana peel as a pectin source, suggested the researchers.

Developing countries such as Cameroon import several tons of pectin each year, although there is a vast resource of agricultural products and agro wastes which can be used to produce pectin. In this country, 600,000 metric tons of banana were produced in 2004 with 40 per cent of the total weight of the fruit being wastes which can be used to extract pectin.

The ingredient, with worldwide production estimated at 35,000 tonnes a year, is currently widely used as gelling agents in jams, confectionary, and bakery fillings, and stabilisers in yoghurts and milk drinks.
Banana skins offer cheap pectin
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