In the food industry it’s used as a gelling agent. Jelly and jam are the main products that require this compound.
Pears, apples, plums and citrus fruits have a high amount of pectin.
According to the Nihoncha Instructor textbook volume II, the pectin content by weight in sencha can vary from 0.7% to 2%.
Pectin and the taste of tea
Although pectin is tasteless, it has an impact in the taste of tea.
Previously, research had shown that a solution made with the same type and amount of catechins of a tea infusion would be much more astringent than the taste observed in the original tea infusion.
Catechins are a source of bitterness and astringency in tea, so there is some other compound in tea that lowers this astringency.
It turns out that pectin is responsible for the lower astringency in tea. It does so for the gallate-type catechins EGCG and ECG.
The reason why fukamushi sencha is less astringent
Increasing the steaming time of a green tea also increases the pectin content in the infusion because it dissolves at a higher rate.
That’s why fukamushi sencha (a deep-steamed green tea) has a lower astringency than normal sencha.
Because of the lower astringency, one feels an increase in the sweetness and body of a green tea.