Pectins are polysaccharides found in the cell walls of fruits and vegetables. Commercial, isolated pectins are typically derived from citrus peels and are used in a variety of foods for their gelling, thickening, and stabilising properties. It is common in jams and jellies and as a way of maintaining thickness in reduced fat dairy products.

Health considerations

Pectins are dietary fiber and have shown the ability to reduce rises in serum insulin and glucose after carbohydrate-containing meals. This may be useful for diabetics in particular. Pectin also has the ability to reduce serum cholesterol when consumed in significant quantities, regularly. It has also shown an ability to induce death of cancerous cells and was associated with slowed progression of prostate cancer. Pectin can reduce beta-carotene absorption.

Keep in mind

Pectin sold for use in jam making should not be used as a dietary supplement; there are dietary supplements designed explicitly for this purpose.

May be found in

Beverages, nectars, juice drinks, bakery fillings, fruit spreads, fruit prepaations, glazes, sauces, yogurt, jellies, fruit roll-ups and chews, frozen dough; reduced-sugar, -milk fat, or -fat dairy products


Water Structure and Science
Annals of Internal Medicine
The Lancet
National Cancer Institute

Alternative Spellings and Names


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