The discovery of pectin.

definition

“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.”[1]

DISCOVERY

The French chemist and pharmacist Henri Braconnot discovered pectin in 1824. He describes the isolation process in an 1824 article[2]:

  • 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.
DISCOVERER

Here is a portrait[3] of Henri Braconnot:

[ux_image_box img=”1039″ image_width=”40″ link=”https://www.magnoliabox.com/products/henri-braconnot-kw2657634″ target=”_blank”]

1780-1855

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sources
  1. https://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/pectin
  2. https://archive.org/details/s3id13207960, pages 173-178.
  3. https://www.magnoliabox.com/products/henri-braconnot- kw2657634

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