Pectin is probably most recognizable to home cooks as the ingredient that thickens jellies and jams and gives them that smooth, sticky texture. Pectin is an indigestible soluble fiber which, when combined with water, forms a colloidal system and gels. It has a wide range of uses such as a gelling, thickening or stabilizing additive in food.
Pectin is found naturally occurring in various forms of plant life, where it helps to bind cells together. Pectin is primarily derived from apple and citrus sources for culinary purposes. Pectin comes in two varieties, high-methoxyl (HM) and low-methoxyl (LM). HM Pectin works best with low pH ingredients while LM pectin is commonly used with high pH ingredients, especially to make jellies and jams.
Pectin is soluble in cold water. Once dissolved it forms a viscous solution. When used in powder form, Pectin must be dispersed rapidly as it easily forms lumps encased in a thin gel layer.
You can discover more about pectin from my how to use pectin guide or any of the pectin articles and recipes below.