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polysaccharide found in fruit and vegetables, crucial in forming jellies and jams, 1838, from French pectine, coined early 1830s by French chemist Henri Braconnot (1781-1855) from acide pectique "pectic acid," a constituent of fruit jellies, from Greek pektikos "curdling, congealing," from pektos "curdled, congealed," from pegnynai "to make stiff or solid," from PIE root *pag-/*pak- "to join together" (see pact). Related: Pectic.
pectin pec·tin (pěk'tĭn)
Any of a group of water-soluble colloidal carbohydrates of high molecular weight found in ripe fruits, such as apples, plums, and grapefruit, and used to jell various foods, drugs, and cosmetics.
Any of a group of carbohydrate substances found in the cell walls of plants and in the tissue between certain plant cells. Pectin is produced by the ripening of fruit and helps the ripe fruit remain firm. As the fruit overripens, the pectin breaks down into simple sugars (monosaccharides) and the fruit loses its shape and becomes soft. Pectins can be made to form gels, and are used in certain medicines and cosmetics and in making jellies.