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Is the ingredient pectin vegan?

Gelling Agent Pectin – Is the Food Additive E 440 Vegan?

Want to find out more about the gelling agent pectin and whether it is vegan? Then you've come to the right place! Since I've been eating a purely plant-based diet, I've been looking very closely at the list of ingredients in organic shops and supermarkets. One particular additive has always caught my eye, especially in jelly babies, gelling sugar, jams, sauces, desserts and ice cream: pectin E 440. What is that actually? And is it really vegan? Questions upon questions.

In this article, I would like to give you the answers and everything you need to know about the plant-based alternative to gelatine. Let's go!

What is pectin anyway?

In nutritional psychology, pectins (designation E 440) are regarded as dietary fibers that belong to the group of dietary fibers. They are Polysaccharides (so-called polysaccharides), which are mainly found in the solid stems, skins and seeds of almost all plants and fruits.

The exact pectin content of a plant is thereby depends on the respective plant species and also on the age of the tissue. Pectin is obtained by extraction - i.e. boiling a plant with hot water.

What foods contain pectin?

Apples and jam - food with pectin

There are countless foods and products that contain pectins. I have compiled a small list for you below.

Fruit with a high pectin content:

  • Apples
  • Persimmons
  • Blueberries
  • Apricots
  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Sugar beet
  • Quince
  • Gooseberries
  • Red currants
  • Blackberries
  • Cranberries

Good to remember: Plants without firm stems, as well as thick skins and seeds (e.g. strawberries), generally have a low pectin content.

Food/products with pectin:

  • Apple pectin
  • Fruit gums
  • Gelling sugar
  • Fruit spreads
  • Yogurts
  • Sauces
  • Drinks
  • Dairy products
  • Jellies
  • Bakery products
  • Desserts
  • Ice cream

What is pectin used for?

As the popular vegetable additive E 440 has mainly firming, jelly-forming, swelling and water-regulating properties, it is preferred in the food industry as a Stabilizer, filler, as well as coating, thickening and gelling agent one.

Is pectin vegan, vegetarian, halāl and generally healthy?

Carrots are rich in pectin

In contrast to gelatine, which is mainly skin, cartilage, bones and tendons from primarily pigs and cattle from the Factory farming pectins are purely vegetable dietary fibers. As there are no animal components even after the industrial processing, the gelling agent pectin is Wonderful for vegans and of course also suitable for vegetarians.

Perhaps you are interested in whether pectins also comply with Muslim dietary regulations? This answer is also clear: as no animals have to suffer or even be killed for the plant-based additive, it is also halāl - and therefore also Suitable for Muslims.

And what about the health aspect of the gelling agent pectin? The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA, European Food Safety Authority) sees in the consumption of the vegetable multiple sugars No health concerns. Pectin causes blood sugar levels to rise slowly, keeps you satiated for longer and can help with healthy slimming help. It is even able to lower cholesterol levels and also has a bowel cleansing function.

Nevertheless, it is sugar, which is why the corresponding sweets and jams with pectin should of course be enjoyed with caution. In contrast to conventional gelling sugar with gelatine, the Gelling and sweetening of the food are independent of each other in the case of pectins. This allows you to decide on the amount of sugar yourself, so that creations with less sugar and calories are possible despite the gelling agent.₁

Is pectin also a good vegetable gelatin substitute?

Pectin is vegan and definitely the plant-based, environmentally and animal-friendly alternative to gelatine. The additive can be used just as well for thickening and as a gelling agent, for example. You can get pectin as a food additive in both liquid and powder form.

I hope that I have been able to help you with this article about the purely plant-based additive. Do you have any questions, tips or suggestions? Then I look forward to your comments.

Stay animal-friendly,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS.: So pectin is vegan. But is also the red dye carmine veganwhich is often used in jam or lipsticks? Find out now in the linked article!

₁ EFSA Journal; European Commission (2021): Opinion on the re-evaluation of pectin (E 440i) and amidated pectin (E 440ii) as food additives in foods for infants below 16 weeks of age and follow-up of their re-evaluation as food additives for uses in foods for all population groups, available at [26.04.2022].

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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