Resumo: Pectin is a soluble fiber present in the cell wall of vegetables and is also found in abundance in the skins, marcs, and pulps of some fruits, as one of the main structural components of plants. Its industrial application is quite wide due to a chemical structure in its molecule that influences its molecular characteristics. It has gelling, stabilizing, and thickening characteristic properties, which vary according to its degree of esterification. Pectin extraction varies from the simplest and low-cost to the most sophisticated methods. Pectin can also produce beneficial physiological effects to health due to its prebiotic action, improving cholesterol levels and glucose tolerance, delaying gastric emptying, and selectively stimulating the healthy intestinal microbiota, decreasing the occurrence of intestinal or systemic diseases. Recent studies have demonstrated its positive effects on the survival of probiotics and how their incorporation into the formulation of functional foods has become more frequent because it is a promising and low-cost product. This review aims to describe the structure of pectin, as well as its classification, extraction methods, prebiotic properties, and health benefits, in addition, to show studies referring to its contribution in the formulation of foods and survival of probiotics.
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Capítulo do livro: Ciência e Tecnologia de Alimentos: Pesquisas e Avanços