Degree of blockiness of amide groups as indicator for difference in physical behavior of amidated pectins

S.E. Guillotin, J. van Kampen, P. Boulenguer, H.A. Schols, A.G.J. Voragen

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Thickening and gelling properties of commercial amidated pectins depend on the degree of amidation and methyl-esterification, but also the distribution of these groups is of great importance. Methods have been developed during the last few years to determine the distribution of methyl esters over the pectic backbone. We applied the strategies developed for the analysis of high methyl-esterified pectins for studying the distribution of amide groups in amidated pectins. Low methyl-esterified amidated (LMA) pectins were digested before and after removal of methyl esters by an endo-polygalacturonase to determine the degree of blockiness of the substituents. The nature of the substituents (amide groups compared to methyl esters) did not modify the behavior of the enzyme. Oligomers released were separated by using high-performance anion exchange chromatography and pulsed amperometric detection (HPAEC-PAD) at pH 5. Fractions collected after on-line desalting were identified by using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. Oligomers were found to elute from the column as a function of their total charge. For the same overall charge and size, oligomers with methyl esters eluted before oligomers with amide groups. Both amide groups and methyl esters of the LMA pectins studied were found to be semirandomly distributed over the pectic backbone, but this may vary according to the amidation process used.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-37
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • galacturonic acid distribution
  • exchange chromatography
  • lime pectins
  • calcium
  • gels
  • endopolygalacturonase
  • sequence
  • ph


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