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Pronunciation: pek'tin


  1. Broad generic term for what are now more correctly called pectic substances or materials; specifically, a gelatinous substance, consisting largely of long chains of mostly d-galacturonic acid units (typically a-1,4 linkages and sometimes present as methyl esters), which is extracted from fruits where it is presumed to exist as protopectin (pectose).
  2. Commercial pectins, sometimes called pectinic acids, are whitish, soluble powders prepared from the rinds of citrus fruits. They are used in the preparation of jams, jellies, and similar food products where they increase viscosity; therapeutically, they are used to control diarrhea (usually in conjunction with other agents), as a plasma expander, and as a protectant; pectins bind calcium ions and are highly hydrated.
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