Submitted to: American Society of Beet Sugar Technologists Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 30, 2003
Publication Date: October 1, 2003
Citation: Savary, B.J., Nunez, A., Liu, L.S., Yoo, S. 2003. Pectin acetylesterase - analysis and application for sugar beet pectin utilization. Proceedings of the 1st Joint International Beet Research - American Society of Sugar Beet Technologists Congress, pp. 917-920. Beet Sugar Development Foundation, Denver, CO. Technical Abstract: Sustainable technologies are being sought to provide new and higher-value coproducts from sugar beet pulp. Pectin is a complex plant cell wall polysaccharide that represents a major fraction of sugar beet pulp. One distinguishing feature of sugar beet pectin is a high content of C2 and C3 acetyl esters. Such esters impart unique physical, chemical, and functional properties. Acetyl esters probably function biologically to restrict pectin depolymerizing enzyme activities. The enzyme pectin acetylesterase (EC 188.8.131.52) can specifically hydolyze such acetyl esters in homogalacturonan regions of pectin, thus it may play a critical role in cell wall modification during root development and during pest/pathogen interactions. Pectin acetylesterase may be used technically in an efficient, environmentally-friendly bioprocess for modifying sugar beet pectin structure to improve performance and increase functionality. Such pectins can be used to fabricate new biobased materials for application in drug delivery systems. This presentation will summarize our recent developments in four areas supporting enzymatic modification of sugar beet pectin: 1) A new GC-MS method, with headspace solid-phase microextraction, for efficient determination of ester content in pectin and of esterase enzyme activity. 2) A specific polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis method to distinguish pectin esterase types. 3) The purification and biochemical characterization of pectin acetylesterase. 4) The preparation of porous "microsponge" matrices using enzyme-modified sugar beet pectin.