|biochem any of the acidic hemicelluloses that occur in ripe fruit and vegetables: used in the manufacture of jams because of their ability to solidify to a gel when heated in a sugar solution (may be referred to on food labels as E440(a))|
|[C19: from Greek pēktos congealed, from pegnuein to set]|
|pectin (pěk'tĭn) Pronunciation Key
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.