Uses of pectin in food
Pectin, due to its physical and chemical nature, has high water-holding capacity. Because of this property and texture it imparts, pectin is isolated from citrus fruits peel and apple pomace and used as a gelling substances in making jams (eg. apple or apricot jams) and thickening foods. Pectin is an important ingredient in industrial yogurt, cakes, ketchup, and fruit jelly.
Pharmaceutical/medicinal uses of pectin
Pectin is also used in traditional and modern medicine. Traditionally, pectin from panax ginseng is used to treat wound. Also in modern medicine, pectin use in wound bandages is common. Pectin is also an ingriedient in medicinal formulations for heart burn, constipation and diarrhea treatments.
Pectin is completely digested in the colon and releases fatty acids which may indirectly lower risks of colon cancer. Since pectin is fermented only when it reaches the colon, it is one of the strong candidates for coating colon-specific oral drug delivery systems, such as for colon cancer treatment.
Holloway, Warren D, Tasman-Jones, Clifford and Maher, Kerry (1983). Pectin Digestion in Humans. The Ameican Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 37: 253 - 255.
Tin Wui Wong, Gaia Colombo and Fabio Sonvico (2010). Pectin Matrix as Oral Drug Delivery Vehicle for Colon Cancer Treatment. AAPS PharmSciTech. DOI: 10.1208/s12249-010-9564-z.