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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


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Select Committee on GRAS Substances (SCOGS) Opinion: Pectinic acid

The GRAS Substances (SCOGS) Database allows access to opinions and conclusions from 115 SCOGS reports published between 1972-1980 on the safety of over 370 Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) food substances. The GRAS ingredient reviews were conducted by the Select Committee in response to a 1969 White House directive by President Richard M. Nixon.

Pectinic acid

  • SCOGS-Report Number: 81*
  • Type Of Conclusion: 1
  • ID Code: 9046-40-6
  • Year: 1977
  • 21 CFR Section: 184.1588

SCOGS Opinion:

Pectin is a constituent of the cell walls of all green land plants. Among food sources, fruits and vegetables have the highest content and may contain 0.5 to 4 percent of pectic substances on a fresh weight basis. Extensive studies on pectins and pectinates demonstrates that they are largely decomposed by the microflora in the colon of man and experimental animals. The breakdown products do not appear to enter metabolic pathways to an appreciable extent because pectin in the diet is not available as a source of energy. Animal feeding studies have shown no toxic effects when pectins and pectinates, including amidated pectines, are fed at levels many times greater than the estimated human intake of pectin added to foods.

In the light of the foregoing , the Select Committee concludes that: There is no evidence in the available information on pectin and pectinates, including amidated pectins, that demonstrates or suggests reasonable grounds to suspect a hazard to the public when they are used at levels that are now current or that might reasonably be expected in the future.

*Complete reports containing details of the safety studies that formed the basis of the opinions and conclusions and are available from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, VA 22161 (703) 605-6000.