Chemical Modification of Pectin and Polygalacturonic Acid: A Critical Review

Hendryk Würfel, Katja Geitel, Haisong Qi, Thomas Heinze


Pectin, as a sustainable biopolymer with its two complementary functionalities (carboxyl and hydroxyl moieties) imparted in the α-1,4-galacturonic acid repeating unit, has gained increasing attention in the last few years. The interest in this ubiquitously occurring plant originating polysaccharide (PS) has shifted slowly from applications as a food additive to a broader range of potential applications in medicine, cosmetics, and other industries. Due to the increasing interest in alternatives for petrochemical materials, PSs as biomaterials have gained increasing attention in industrial processes in general. In the last decade, an increasing number of chemical transformations related to pectin have been published, and this is a prerequisite for the design of the structure and hence properties of novel biopolymer-based materials. This work aims to review the chemical modifications of pectin by covalent linkage of the last decade and analyze the materials obtained with these chemical methods critically.


Pectin; Polygalacturonic acid; Chemical modification; Alkylation; Acylation; Amide; Ester; Hydrazide; Polysaccharide; Hydrogel

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