Celebrate Thanksgiving with Cranberry Sauce — And Pectin Chemistry Research!

pectin chemistry research cranberry sauce

Thanksgiving is here, so it’s only natural to have food — and the chemistry behind it — on the brain! Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude and enjoying being with family and friends, but the meal can also spur disagreement, such as whether canned or homemade cranberry sauce is superior. Regardless of where you stand on that issue, Thanksgiving is the perfect time to explore the chemistry behind a key molecule in this holiday treat: pectin.

Pectin is a naturally occurring polysaccharide polymer and is used in food as a gelling agent. It has an array of beneficial uses beyond cranberry sauce, some of which are outlined in the following selection of articles from Biomacromolecules and Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.

Give Thanks for Pectin Chemistry and Have a Happy Thanksgiving


Effects of Pectin Molecular Weight Changes on the Structure, Dynamics, and Polysaccharide Interactions of Primary Cell Walls of Arabidopsis thaliana: Insights from Solid-State NMR
Biomacromolecules, 2017, 18 (9), pp 2937–2950
DOI: 10.1021/acs.biomac.7b00888
Zooming in: Structural Investigations of Rheologically Characterized Hydrogen-Bonded Low-Methoxyl Pectin Networks
Biomacromolecules, 2015, 16 (10), pp 3209–3216
DOI: 10.1021/acs.biomac.5b00870
Aeropectin: Fully Biomass-Based Mechanically Strong and Thermal Superinsulating Aerogel
Biomacromolecules, 2014, 15 (6), pp 2188–2195
DOI: 10.1021/bm500345u
Microfluidics-Assisted Diffusion Self-Assembly: Toward the Control of the Shape and Size of Pectin Hydrogel Microparticles
Biomacromolecules, 2014, 15 (5), pp 1568–1578
DOI: 10.1021/bm401596m

Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry

Highly Methoxylated Pectin Improves Insulin Resistance and Other Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in Zucker Fatty Rats
J. Agric. Food Chem., 2008, 56 (10), pp 3574–3581
DOI: 10.1021/jf703598j
Antioxidant Activity and Emulsion-Stabilizing Effect of Pectic Enzyme Treated Pectin in Soy Protein Isolate-Stabilized Oil/Water Emulsion
J. Agric. Food Chem., 2011, 59 (17), pp 9623–9628
DOI: 10.1021/jf202020t
Effects of Lecithin and Pectin on Riboflavin-Photosensitized Oxidation of Orange Oil in a Multilayered Oil-in-Water Emulsion
J. Agric. Food Chem., 2011, 59 (17), pp 9344–9350
DOI: 10.1021/jf2015107
Biocompatible Polyelectrolyte Complex Nanoparticles from Lactoferrin and Pectin as Potential Vehicles for Antioxidative Curcumin
J. Agric. Food Chem., 2017, 65 (28), pp 5720–5730
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.7b01848
A New Water-Soluble Nanomicelle Formed through Self-Assembly of Pectin–Curcumin Conjugates: Preparation, Characterization, and Anticancer Activity Evaluation
J. Agric. Food Chem., 2017, 65 (32), pp 6840–6847
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.7b02250

What’s your favorite cranberry sauce style? Leave your preference in the comments!

If you have comments or questions for the author of this post, please e-mail: Axial@acs.org.