Pectin from Cucurbita moschata Pumpkin MesocarpAuthor(s): José RR de Souza, Jeanny S Maciel, Edy S Brito, Nágila MPS Ricardo and Judith PA Feitosa
Pumpkin has been mentioned as a great source of natural and low-cost pectin and has been regarded as a functional food for applications in food and pharmaceutical formulations. In this work, low-methoxyl pectin was extracted from pumpkin Cucurbita moschata species by acid hydrolysis and characterized by chemical techniques. Infrared spectroscopy characterized isolated pectin, 1H, 13C Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Gel Permeation Chromatography, elemental analysis, rheology and metal determination. 1H NMR was used to quantify the DM which was 44%. The determined molecular mass was 9.5 × 105 g/mol. Rheological study of continuous shear of pectin solutions showed shear-thinning behaviour and gel formation in presence of calcium ions. The results suggest that this pumpkin pectin may be used both in food and pharmaceutical ionotropic gels formulations.