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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Microwave Method to Extract Pectin from Citrus
See also: US Patent Office Full Record



Patent Number: 6143337
Docket Number: 18798
Serial Number: 9302962
Date Patented: 11/07/2000

Technology Description:

ARS scientists have developed a method for extracting pectin from citrus fruits using microwave technology. This technology uses microwaves to heat fruit peels and acidified water in pressure-resistant containers. Using this method, pectin can be extracted in 10 minutes. Less energy is used, and the pectin is a higher quality than when extracted using conventional heating. Industry uses conventional heating to extract pectin from fruit peels. It can take more than an hour to process a batch of fruit peels. Overheating can reduce pectin quality by breaking it down. Pectin is a natural ingredient mostly present in the pulp, peel and albedo--the white material between the outer peel and fruit sections--of citrus fruits. Pectin is also found in apples and sugar beets. It is used as a gelling agent in jelly foods and as a texturizer in premixed yogurt to give it a smooth texture and pleasant mouth feel. Pectin is an imported high-value product that costs about $6 to $8 a pound. Cutting the extraction time could reduce this cost significantly and open the door for domestic pectin production for the first time in decades.

Reference:

Please refer to Patent Number 6,143,337, "Flash Extraction of Pectin by Microwave Heating Under Pressure," which issued on November 7, 2000.

Inventors:

Marshall L. Fishman
Plant Science and Technology Research
Wyndmoor, PA 19038-8598
(215) 233-6450 / Fax: (215) 233-6406
mfishman@arserrc.gov

 Hoa K. Chau
(Same as first inventor)
(215) 233-6636 / Fax: (215) 233-6406
rchau@arserrc.gov

 

Last Modified: 2/24/2014
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