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Biotechnol Appl Biochem. 1996 Apr;23 ( Pt 2):181-4.

Determination of residual pectin methylesterase activity in food products.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, II University of Naples, Italy.


A method for the determination of a low level of pectin methylesterase activity from vegetable products is described. The method is based on an affinity chromatography technique that employs a resin-bound pectin methylesterase inhibitor, purified from kiwi fruit, which selectively binds the pectin methylesterase. The resin has the capacity to concentrate the enzyme, allowing measurement of enzyme activities too low to be determined by commonly employed techniques and commensurate with those found in pasteurized food products. The enzyme is eluted from the resin at alkaline pH (9.5) and assayed by a pH-stat method. Depulped orange juices containing different amounts of pectin methylesterase were prepared and used to determine enzyme recovery. The results show a recovery of 90% with a standard deviation of 6.8%.

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