We have the French chemist and pharmacist, Henri Braconnot, who researched and discovered pectinase in 1825. An alternate name for it is polygalacturonase which is a definitive type of pectinase.
In short, the term pectinase is a group of enzymes that soften pectic substances in the cell walls of plants. The pectic substance then divides into two groups. The first is pectic acid and the other is pectin. Peptic enzymes include pectolyase, pectozyme, and polygalacturonase.
Moreover, pectin is in wide use as a thickener and gelling agent in the “canning” and processing of delicious jams and jellies. You will also find these terms in reference to wine-making processes which you will read more about in this article.
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What Are Pectinase Enzymes?
How Does the Pectinase Enzyme Work?
Interestingly, during the ripening process that plants go through, it is pectinase that breaks down (hydrolyzes) the pectin in the cell walls which makes the food softer and therefore, in many cases, edible. But, do you know that when you pick the food up at the grocery store to “feel” it to see if it’s ready to eat, you’re actually checking to see if the pectinase has done its job? Now you know!
The enzyme pectinase also helps the body efficiently digest plant-based foods which in turn, increases their nutritional value. However, in addition to pectinase’s role as an enzyme in the digestive system, it also has some remarkably interesting well-being and anti-aging qualities that derive from this supplement’s remarkable ability to balance and aid the colon in the digestive process.
The Uses & Benefits of Pectinase Enzymes
The Two-Fold Process of Pectinase in Wine-Making
First, pectinase helps breaks down plant material (usually fruit) which aids in getting the most flavor from the fruit mash. Secondly, the cloudiness of pectin in the wine clears away with the use of pectinase.
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What Does Pectinase Do in the Kitchen?
One of the more popular uses of the pectinase enzyme is in the kitchen. Again, this enzyme breaks down or softens plant foods for canning and processing purposes. In addition, it is also in use in the wine industry to produce the best flavor and for a crystal clear wine product.
But there are more culinary uses. To break these down into the most well-known uses, please refer to the list below.
- Citrus peelings soften for removal with vacuum infusion
- Coffee beans: removes the coating from fermenting beans
- Fruit & vegetable cell walls break down on
- Juice filtration speeds up
- Juice volume increases
- Tea fermentation acceleration & reduces foam on tea powders
- Viscosity & turbidity of juices reduce.
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Good bacteria in the intestines are necessary for good digestion. Pectinase helps this come about by supporting an ideal pH balance for the growth of healthy bacteria. This is therefore how it aids in the digestion of food and retention of nutrients that the body needs.
Chronic Food Sensitivities
Reasons for using pectinase include chronic food sensitivities in which case, pectinase supplements might be highly beneficial to you. This is because it helps your body more easily and effectively process foods that otherwise will cause colon problems due to inadequate digestion and therefore, poor absorption of nutrients.
Colon Health Benefits
In the process of breaking down fatty acids, pectinase helps give the energy to the colon that it needs to operate efficiently.
Digestive System Support
The pectinase enzyme particularly affects and benefits the digestive system. In so doing, it supports intestinal bacteria, colon health, and other conditions. One way it accomplishes this is by increasing the bioavailability of sugar in the blood.
Seasonal foods that we don’t eat year-round might cause distress to our digestive systems. This is where the use of a pectinase supplement comes into play to break down the seasonal foods so that your body can better digest and make use of the nutrients.
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An interesting side effect of taking pectinase supplements is that some people experience a decrease in appetite. This excellent side effect comes from the break down of bad fats from the use of pectinase. If you want to use it for this purpose, be sure to take your supplement before each meal.
What Are the Primary Sources?
Again, pectinase is a group of enzymes that work to break down pectin in the foods that we eat. However, bacteria and fungi are the sources from which the pectinase supplements derive. It is considered a safe supplement by the FDA as it is a naturally occurring component of fruits and vegetables.
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Foods with High Levels of Pectinase
Where you find foods with pectin, you will also find pectinase. This also means that foods that are high in pectin are also a natural source of pectinase enzymes. This is important to know if you are a person who likes to think of food as a supplement in addition to taking manufactured supplements. Fortunately, pectin is found in most vegetables and fruits as it naturally occurs in the cell walls of green plants.
But, to narrow it down a bit let’s refer to a September 1985 study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association which suggests that oranges contain the highest concentration of pectin. However, pectin is also high in apples, apricots, blackberries, peaches, raspberries, and strawberries. Among vegetables that contain prominent levels of pectin are green beans, peas, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes.
When you begin your search for this supplement, you will find that most pectinase supplements derive from the Aspergillus niger fungi. You will also find it in either powder or liquid form. The unit of measurement for pectinase is in AJDU’s. This acronym stands for Apple Juice Depectinizing Units in which the enzyme is more active as the numbers increase.
You can purchase this supplement in combination with other enzymes in tablet or capsule form. You may also buy it in powder or liquid form.
If you think you have digestive issues as a result of poor absorption of nutrients, then this might be a good supplement for you. In addition, it also aids in colon issues and chronic food sensitivities. We encourage you to continue to do your research and consult with your medical professional to determine if this enzyme is the right one for you.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products discussed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.