“Any of the acidic hemicelluloses that occur in ripe fruit and vegetables: used in the manufacture of jams because of their ability to solidify to a gel when heated in a sugar solution.”
The French chemist and pharmacist Henri Braconnot discovered pectin in 1824. He describes the isolation process in an 1824 article:
- The fruit or vegetable is first reduced to a pulp in order to extract the juice.
- The pulp is then boiled in dilute hydrochloric acid.
- It is then washed and heated with a solution of potassium hydroxide.
- A thick and sticky solution is then formed.
- Upon addition of alcohol to the solution, a white jelly-like substance precipitates.
Here is a portrait of Henri Braconnot:
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