Isolation and characterisation of pectic substances from murta (Ugni molinae Turcz) fruits

Cell walls polysaccharides from murta fruit (Ugni molinae Turcz), an endemic Chilean species with relevant food uses, were fractionated by water, ammonium oxalate, hot diluted HCl and cold diluted NaOH extractions. The polysaccharide fractions were analysed for monosaccharide composition and physicochemical properties. Pectic substances were found in all extracts, but mainly in the oxalate and acid soluble fractions, in which they appear as homogalacturonan polymers. Murta pectin was further extracted by hot diluted acid treatment using industrial conditions, yielding 30% by weight of dry fruit. The polymer showed similar composition and physicochemical properties to those of commercial citrus pectin, presenting a galacturonic acid content of 70.9% (w/w), a molecular weight of 597 kDa, and a methoxylation degree of 57%. The FT-IR spectrum of murta pectin suggests the presence of ferulic acid residues on its structure and the NMR analysis confirmed the structure of this polysaccharide. It is concluded that murta fruit can be considered as a valuable source of high quality pectin. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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