PECTIN AND SUSTAINABILITY
Most of the pectin produced in the world today is extracted from fruit peel, a by-product of the juice and citrus oil processing industries. Apple, lime, lemon and orange peels are the most commonly used.
Without demand for pectin from the food, beverage and pharmaceutical sectors, much of this peel would be disposed of as waste. By adding value to an otherwise unwanted raw material, and by reducing levels of waste generated in other industries, pectin production is an excellent example of a circular economy.
Pectin producers take sustainably very seriously and have a proven track record of delivering ongoing improvements in environmental performance. They have put a range of programs in place to minimize their impact on the environment.
In the first instance, pectin producers take care to source fruit peel from trusted suppliers who share the same commitment to protecting the environment. They are also committed to reducing consumption of natural resources, cutting waste, and lessening carbon emissions. Using cleaner, renewable fuels wherever possible is another priority. For example, some pectin producers harness sunlight to dry fruit peels in preparation for pectin extraction.
Once pectin has been extracted from peels, any materials left over are incorporated into animal feed, or composted and used as a natural fertilizer. This helps farmers to reduce their reliance on less sustainable feeds and soil improvers and means that nothing goes to waste.
Pectin is sustainable in other ways, too. Its gelling and stabilizing properties help to keep food fresh and edible for longer. This functionality ensures products remain appealing for the full duration of their shelf-life, which in turn helps to reduce food waste.
One of nature’s greatest ingredients, pectin aligns great functionality with excellent environmental credentials. It is an ingredient with hundreds of years of heritage that is perfectly in tune with today’s sustainability values.