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[pek-tin] /ˈpɛk tɪn/

noun, Biochemistry.
a white, amorphous, colloidal carbohydrate of high molecular weight occurring in ripe fruits, especially in apples, currants, etc., and used in fruit jellies, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics for its thickening and emulsifying properties and its ability to solidify to a gel.
(biochem) 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 (may be referred to on food labels as E440(a))

polysaccharide found in fruit and vegetables, crucial in forming jellies and jams, 1838, from French pectine, coined early 1830s by French chemist Henri Braconnot (1781-1855) from acide pectique “pectic acid,” a constituent of fruit jellies, from Greek pektikos “curdling, congealing,” from pektos “curdled, congealed,” from pegnynai “to make stiff or solid,” from PIE root *pag-/*pak- “to join together” (see pact). Related: Pectic.

pectin pec·tin (pěk’tĭn)
Any of a group of water-soluble colloidal carbohydrates of high molecular weight found in ripe fruits, such as apples, plums, and grapefruit, and used to jell various foods, drugs, and cosmetics.
Any of a group of carbohydrate substances found in the cell walls of plants and in the tissue between certain plant cells. Pectin is produced by the ripening of fruit and helps the ripe fruit remain firm. As the fruit overripens, the pectin breaks down into simple sugars (monosaccharides) and the fruit loses its shape and becomes soft. Pectins can be made to form gels, and are used in certain medicines and cosmetics and in making jellies.


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  • Pectinate

    [pek-tuh-neyt] /ˈpɛk təˌneɪt/ adjective 1. formed into or having closely parallel, toothlike projections; comblike. /ˈpɛktɪˌneɪt/ adjective 1. shaped like a comb: pectinate antennae pectinate pec·ti·nate (pěk’tə-nāt’) or pec·ti·nat·ed (-nā’tĭd) adj. Having projections resembling the teeth of a comb; comblike. pec’ti·na’tion n.

  • Pectinate line

    pectinate line n. See anocutaneous line.

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  • Pectinate muscle

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