Is Pectin Vegan? Here’s What You Should Know
Pectin is a common ingredient in jams, jellies and sweets. It’s used to create a gel-like texture, but is pectin vegan? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about this fascinating ingredient!
If you’ve ever looked at the ingredients list on jam, jelly, or any kind of chewy sweets, you’ve probably noticed that pectin is a commonly used ingredient. In sweets and candies, it is often used in addition to ingredients like gelatine, cornflour, xanthan gum, and other thickening agents, to create that chewy texture.
But what exactly is pectin? Let’s learn more about this common food ingredient.
What is pectin?
Pectin is a type of fibre found in fruits and vegetables, which produces a gel-like texture when heated alongside other ingredients. Lemons, oranges, limes, apples, carrots and potatoes are just some of the fruits and vegetables with a high pectin content.
Pectin made from apples and lemons are the most common types of pectins that you’ll find in the supermarkets. According to IPPA, pectin is extracted from apple pomace and citrus peel by putting them into a hot water solution mixed with a natural mineral acid. It is then filtered to separate the pectin from any remaining solids.
What can pectin be used for?
As mentioned above, pectin gives food a gel-like or a chewy texture. Because of this, it makes a great addition to jams. It transforms the boiled fruit and sugar mixture from a liquid consistency to a spreadable one.
It can also be used to give texture to gummy sweets or candies, jelly (or jello), and it can be used some baking recipes like cheesecakes, as an alternative to gelatine.
Is pectin vegan?
Yes, pectin is vegan. Unlike gelatine, pectin is derived from plant sources and does not contain any animal products or animal-derived ingredients. It is also suitable for vegetarians and it’s gluten-free too.
Note that many sweets contain both pectin and gelatine in the ingredients list so make sure to double check before purchasing.
Where can I buy it?
Pectin comes in two different forms- liquid and powder. The type you’ll most commonly find on UK supermarket shelves is the liquid type. This is almost always made using apples or lemons, or a mixture of both. Certo apple pectin is the only one that I was able to find in supermarkets in my area but here are some links if you’d like to purchase your pectin online:
- Special Ingredients pectin powder
- Mr. P Ingredients pectin powder
- Certo apple pectin extract
- Eat Whole Foods apple pectin
- Tate & Lyle pectin sachets
Is pectin the same thing as gelatine?
While pectin and gelatine work similarly, they are not at all the same. They both work to thicken liquids and they both create a gel-like consistency. However, gelatine is made from ground animal bones and pectin is made from fruit and vegetable fibre. This is why vegan gummy sweets often contain pectin instead of the gelatine that would typically be used. Pectin is vegan but gelatine is not.
So, is pectin vegan? It sure is! Pectin is derived from fruit and vegetable fibre- most commonly citrus fruits and apples. It can be used in a number of recipes to thicken or create a jelly texture. It is suitable for vegetarians and those with gluten allergies. It’s always best to check the label for each specific brand before purchasing in case of cross contamination risks.