Calcium induced gelation is predominant in low methoxyl pectin gels. Low Methoxyl Pectin can also be used as a thickening agent and food stabilizer. Pectin is great for making jams, jellies, low calorie jellies and to stabilize acidic protein drinks such as drinking yogurt.
- Pectin is soluble in cold water but it has to be carefully dispersed. Use a high shear mixer or mix it first with a little sugar. Pectin also disperses very easily in high sugar syrup.
- Pectin is stable under acid conditions and becomes unstable under less acidic conditions
- Low Methoxyl Pectin gels in the presence of calcium
- The gelation with Low Methoxy Pectin depends on the concentration of calcium, sequestrant levels, ph, soluble solids and pectin's inner reactivity
- Low Methoxyl Pectin works best in a PH range of 3.2 - 3.6
- Requires between 10-30mg of calcium per gram of Pectin to set
Gelation is due to the formation of intermolecular junction zones between the 'smooth' HG regions of separate polymers. The nature of the interaction, although known to be electrostatic to some extent, is still debated. Gel forming ability decreases with degree of methoxylation and some blockwise distributions of carboxyl groups are very sensitive to calcium presence.