Pectin is a naturally occurring soluble fiber, structural heteropolysaccharide, which is usually found in apples, lemons, oranges, berries, and other fruits. Unripe fruits generally have more pectin than ripe fruits. Pectin is commercially manufactured as brown powder, extracted primarily from citrus fruits. Pears, apples, guavas, quince, plums, gooseberries, and citrus fruits such as oranges contain large amount of pectin, while soft fruits such as cherries, grapes, and strawberries contain less amount of pectin.
Pectin is primarily used as a gelling and thickening agent and stabilizer in a number of fruit products, such as marmalades, fruit-based preparations such as yogurts, drinks, ice creams, desserts, and bakery products. It is also used in confectionery such as jams and jellies in order to provide them a gel-like structure. Fruit pectin reduces cooking time, improves texture and color, and increases shelf-life when added to food and other products. Pectin is used in jellies to confer to them a gel-like structure, a clean bite, and a good flavor release. It is also used to stabilize acidic protein drinks, such as drinking yogurt, in order to improve the mouth-feel and the pulp stability in juice-based drinks, and also as a fat substitute in baked food items. It is also widely used in the pharmaceuticals industry for preparation of wound healing applications and specialty medical adhesives. Fruit pectin is useful for patients of high cholesterol, prostate cancer, and diabetes. It helps in maintaining low blood sugar levels as it can delay the absorption of glucose in the body.
Fruit pectin is available in two forms: liquid and powdered (dry). Although both of these are made from fruits, they are not interchangeable. Liquid pectin is usually made from apples. Powdered pectin is made from citrus fruits or apples. Based on function, the fruit pectin market can be segmented into stabilizer, gelling agent, thickener, and fat substitute. By application, the fruit pectin market can be divided into food & beverage, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics.
The food & beverage industry is the key driver of the fruit pectin market. Pectin is used in confectionery, and fruit applications such as jams, jellies, and desserts. Demand for pectin in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics is on a significant rise. It is used to create textures from gels to structured fluids. With the use of various raw materials and manufacturing conditions, pectin is applied as film-forming and water-binding agents. Availability of substitute products such as xanthan and guar and scarcity in the supply of essential raw materials such as citrus peel usually results in the increase of lead time in the manufacture of fruit pectin. These factors are anticipated to hamper the growth of fruit pectin market in the near future.
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The global market for fruit pectin has experienced significant growth on account of the rise in demand for food products in the developed as well as developing economies. Europe is the leader in the fruit pectin market, followed by North America. The fruit pectin industry is anticipated to develop rapidly in the emerging countries such as China and India, which can be attributed to the changing lifestyle of people and consumer preferences for convenience foods. Furthermore, economic development in China has led to an increase in the purchasing power of consumers, thus contributing to the demand for high-quality processed foods.
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