Pectin. How do you feel about it? Is it something one should use, or is it somehow weird/icky/gross/wrong/etc?
I am researching it because Mara and I just picked a shitload of blackberries and are going to make jam tomorrow. Berries and sugar only, or is it worth it to use this stuff?
here's what wikipedia says:...is a heteropolysaccharide derived from the cell wall of higher terrestrial plants.
Naturally, pectin in the form of complex, insoluble protopectin is part of the non-woody parts of terrestrial plants. In the middle lamella between plant cells, pectin helps to bind cells together and regulates water in the plant.
The amount, structure and chemical composition of the pectin differs between plants, within a plant over time and in different parts of a plant. Tough parts contain more pectin than soft parts of a plant. During ripening, pectin is broken down by the enzymespectinase and pectinesterase; in this process the fruit becomes softer as the cell walls break down.
Pectin is a natural part of human diet, but does not contribute significantly to nutrition. The daily intake of pectin from fruit and vegetables can be estimated to be around 5 g (assuming consumption of approximately 500 g fruit and vegetable per day).
In human digestion, pectin passes through the small intestine more or less intact. In the large intestine and colon, microorganisms degrade pectin and liberate short-chain fatty acids that have positive influence on health (prebiotic effect). Pectin is thus a soluble dietary fiber.
Consumption of pectin has been shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels. The mechanism appears to be an increase of viscosity in the intestinal tract, leading to a reduced absorption of cholesterol from bile or food.
and on and on...
What do you think?