Seasonal Changes Occurring in the Pectinesterase Activity and Pectic Constituents of the Component Parts of Citrus Fruits.

I. Valencia Orangesa


  • a

    Presented at the 22nd Annual Meeting, Institute of Food Technologists, Miami Beach, Florida, 1962.

  • Cooperative research by the Florida Citrus Experiment Station and Florida Citrus Commission. Florida Agricultural Experiment Station Journal Series, No. 1444.


Pectinesterase activity, 3 pectic fractions, and other characteristics were determined periodically on 5 component parts of Valencia oranges during a 7-month maturation cycle for 2 seasons. Usually, PE activity for peel, membrane, and juice sacs was least in December, when the Brix/acid ratio was low, and highest in June, when this ratio was greatest. The order of component parts for PE in most cases, from highest to lowest activity, was juice sacs, membrane, peel, seeds, and juice. Water-soluble pectin generally remained constant in peel and juice sacs, increased slightly and then remained constant in the membrane, and was irregular throughout the cycle in the seeds. The trend of ammonium-oxalate-soluble pectin in the components was to increase during maturation. Protopectin in the component parts usually increased to a peak and then gradually decreased for the remainder of the season, except that protopectin in the juice sacs decreased throughout the sampling period. In this component, protopectin evidently was at its maximum by the first picking in December. Total pectin remained constant in the juice and seeds, and slowly declined in the other 3 components with maturation. Membrane contained the highest source of protopectin and total pectin throughout the season.