Facts About: Pectin – One of the Most Complex Polysaccharides in Nature and its Healing Properties

January 01, 2024

By: Richard D. Cummings

One of the most complex polysaccharides in nature is pectin, found in plant cell walls (1,2).  Pectin is a family of galacturonic acid-rich polysaccharides that includes homogalacturonan (HG), rhamnogalacturonan I (RG-I), and the substituted galacturonans rhamnogalacturonan II (RG-II) and xylogalacturonan (XGA) (3).  It is estimated that pectin biosynthesis requires at least 67 different types of transferases, which include glycosyltransferase, methyltransferases, and acetyltransferases (2).  Pectin has 17 different monosaccharides and 20 types of linkages (4). Because of their incredibly diverse properties, pectin heteropolysaccharides have tremendous biomaterials and biomedical applications (5), including biocompatible patches containing pectin for healing of ulcers and wounds (6). Commercial sources of pectin are derived from the peels of citrus fruits and apple pomace.  According to Vantage Market Research, the global pectin market was valued at $1.2 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach $1.9 billion by 2030.


  1. Lei, L. (2017) Polysaccharide structure: A hint from gut bacteria. Nat Plants 3, 17062
  2. Mohnen, D. (2008) Pectin structure and biosynthesis. Curr Opin Plant Biol 11, 266-277
  3. Atmodjo, M. A., Hao, Z., and Mohnen, D. (2013) Evolving views of pectin biosynthesis. Annu Rev Plant Biol 64, 747-779
  4. Le Normand, M., Rietzler, B., Vilaplana, F., and Ek, M. (2021) Macromolecular Model of the Pectic Polysaccharides Isolated from the Bark of Norway Spruce (Picea abies). Polymers (Basel) 13, 1106
  5. Eivazzadeh-Keihan, R., Noruzi, E. B., Aliabadi, H. A. M., Sheikhaleslami, S., Akbarzadeh, A. R., Hashemi, S. M., Gorab, M. G., Maleki, A., Cohan, R. A., Mahdavi, M., Poodat, R., Keyvanlou, F., and Esmaeili, M. S. (2022) Recent advances on biomedical applications of pectin-containing biomaterials. Int J Biol Macromol 217, 1-18
  6. Andriotis, E. G., Eleftheriadis, G. K., Karavasili, C., and Fatouros, D. G. (2020) Development of Bio-Active Patches Based on Pectin for the Treatment of Ulcers and Wounds Using 3D-Bioprinting Technology. Pharmaceutics 12, 56