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Enzyme classification
EC, category glycosidase
Response type hydrolytic cleavage of any 1,4-α-D-galactosiduronic bonds
Substrate Pectic acid and other galacturonans
Parent taxon Plants, plant parasites

Pectinases are enzymes that break down pectins . Since a main component of pectin is polygalacturonic acid, the enzyme polygalacturonase is an example of a pectinase. Pectinases break down the central pectin lamellae of the plant cell wall - this is a normal process during fruit ripening in flowering plants. The enzyme is also produced by bacteria and fungi that parasitize on plants. Pectinases are used commercially, for example to isolate plant protoplasts and to produce fruit juice.

Pectinases are used in the production of fruit juices to increase the juice yield. They are also used to obtain color extracts and coloring foods from vegetable raw materials, or to obtain highly concentrated citrus aromas from the peel of citrus fruits. Pectinases are also used in winemaking , especially during maceration . The increase in the juice yield leads to an improvement in the alcoholic fermentation .

Pectinases are often produced by genetically modified microorganisms (by fermentation with fungal cultures).


Pectinases form family 28 in the Henrissat glycosidase classification.


  1. Pectinase at TransGen ( Memento of the original from March 30, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. Bernard Henrissat: Glycosyl hydrolase families: classification and list of entries