Isolation and Characterization of Pectin from the Ripe Fruit Peels of Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam.)
Background and Objective. Pectin is a complex polysaccharide which is commonly used as a gelling agent for food preparations and pharmaceutical formulations. Currently, the Philippines imports 100% of its pectin requirement from other countries which adds to the cost of products that utilizes pectin. Hence, the aim of this study was to isolate and characterize pectin from ripe jackfruit peels.
Materials and Methods. Peels of ripe jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam.) were subjected to digestion with water and sulfuric acid at 90°C then purified using alcohol and acetone. The isolated material from the peels was subjected to pectin identification tests using the methods from the US Pharmacopeia (USP). To further characterize the isolate, the methoxy and anhydrouronic acid contents, degree of esterification, functional groups (through FT-IR), ash content, and swelling index were determined.
Results. Ripe jackfruit peels yielded 5.74% of brown-colored pectin which was verified using the US Pharmacopeia identification tests for pectin. The methoxy and anhydrouronic acid contents were found to be 4.05% and 1.77%, respectively, with results comparable with the standard pectin (p<0.05). The peel’s pectin has a degree of esterification of 26.34, 1.77% ash content, and swelling index of 9.09. FT-IR analysis of isolated pectin revealed functional groups identical to that of the standard pectin.
Conclusion. Pectin from the ripe jackfruit peels is reported to be a potential source of pharmaceutical grade pectin. However, the AUA content and methoxy content of the isolated pectin did not meet the USP specification. Thus, the authors recommend that future investigators must optimize the isolation procedure to obtain pectin which meets the specification of USP.