Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and to celebrate this food-filled holiday, we invite you to take a look into the chemistry of pectin—a key ingredient in cranberry sauce—and its many uses beyond your dinner plate.

Cranberry sauce and berries on a wooden table.

This post was originally published in November 2017 and has been refreshed with new content and research highlights for your 2023 holiday enjoyment. Dig in!

Thanksgiving is here again, so it’s only natural to have food—and the chemistry behind it—on the brain. Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude and appreciation of family and friends, but there are often many strong (and conflicting) opinions surrounding the meal itself, 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. But has an array of beneficial uses beyond just cranberry sauce, some of which are outlined in the following selection of recent articles across the ACS journal portfolio.

Give Thanks for Pectin Chemistry and Have a Happy Thanksgiving

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