Pectinase is an enzyme that decomposes pectin, which is the main component of plants. It is widely distributed in higher plants and microorganisms, and also in certain protozoa and insects, depending on the substrate it acts on. It can be divided into three categories. Two of them (pectinesterase and polygalacturonase) exist in higher plants and microorganisms, and the other (pectin lyase) is in microorganisms, especially pathogenic microorganisms of certain infected plants.

In microorganisms, bacteria, actinomycetes, yeasts and molds can synthesize and metabolize pectinase. The commercial profit of pectinase industrial applications has facilitated its research and development. Pectinase preparations are produced by many manufacturers around the world. With the advancement of technology, the production cost has gradually decreased, and the application of pectinase has become more and more extensive. It is a kind of enzymes in food industry.

Pectinase includes two types, one catalyzing the depolymerization of pectin and the other catalyzing the hydrolysis of the ester in the pectin molecule. An enzyme that catalyzes the depolymerization of pectin substances is divided into an enzyme that acts on pectin (polymethylgalactose, aldase, aldose oxygenase or pectin lyase) and an enzyme that acts on pectic acid (oligomerization galactose), aldehyde, galacturonic acid lyase or pectate lyase. Enzymes that catalyze ester hydrolysis in pectin molecules include pectin esterase and pectin hydrolase.

Pectinase can destroy the cell wall of plant cells and can be used for fruit production and vegetable juice production, the clarification of fruit wine, the extraction of natural products, the biodegumming of textiles and the biopulping of the paper industry. Pectinase is used in most raw juices and concentrated juices during the production process. Due to the large difference in the content of pectin in various fruits, the composition of pectin is slightly different, so the enzyme composition of pectinase should be determined according to the variety and processing purpose. The presence of pectin affects or hinders the release of natural products to varying degrees. Under appropriate conditions, autolysis of plant cells produces lytic enzymes including pectinase. However, this process may result in structural changes in the product to be separated, and even small molecular byproducts that are detrimental to separation in most cases. Therefore, relying on the self-enzyme system of plant cells is not conducive to the extraction of natural products. In general, the intracellular enzyme system should be heat inactivated prior to selection of the corresponding enzyme for processing.

Pectinase is the most important enzyme in fruit processing. If used for broken fruit, it can speed up juice filtration and promote clarification. It is more effective with other enzymes and pectinase. For example, the use of complex pectinase and cellulase enzyme system to obtain pumpkin juice greatly improves the yield and stability of pumpkin juice. The ultrastructure of pumpkin pulp cells was observed by scanning electron microscopy. The results showed that the effect of single pectinase preparation or cellulase preparation on the cell wall of pumpkin pulp was much less than that of the complex enzyme system. As another example, a new type of fruit and vegetable processing enzyme-hydrothermal enzyme (including pectinase, cellulase, hemicellulase, and protease) has been proposed to increase juice yield and increase transparency of fruit and vegetable juices. The processing field has broad application prospects.

The main use is anti-inflammatory enzyme preparations. Local application for burns, especially dislocation and reduction of scar hyperplasia, chronic ulcers, hemorrhoids, etc.

1. Dissolution: Pectinase-purified powder is added to purified water to dissolve and added to freshly extracted juice.

2. Waiting: Pectinase must wait for about 24 hours to fully function, so we can only keep the juice still during this period. Wait until 24 hours to get clear juice.

At present, the research of pectinase mainly focuses on the screening of enzyme-producing strains, the extraction and separation of enzymes, and the improvement of fruit juice extraction rate and clarity. Pectinase is widely distributed in nature, but most of the current applications of pectinase are as a single enzyme, making it difficult to further expand the use of pectinase in the food industry. Future research on pectinase should focus on the mechanism of regulation of enzymes at the molecular level and the mechanism of action for different pectinase on pectin. It is believed that with the deepening of pectinase research, pectinase will play a greater role in the development of the food industry.

Author's Bio: 

Fiona Bingly
From Creative Enzymes