Modifications in the methods to extract pectin from cv. “Pedro Sato” guavas during ripening

Abstract Guava is a highly perishable fruit due to its intense metabolism during ripening, with a shelf life of up to five days at room temperature. The loss of firmness during ripening is caused by the activity of hydrolytic enzymes that promote dissolution of the pectin constituents of the cell wall. Although guava is considered to be rich in pectin, the amounts reported in the literature do not exceed 2.4%, a content indicating it is not responsible for the firmness of guava. The aim of this study was to extract pectin from the guava pulp during 7 days of ripening by two methods (ethanol and EDTA extraction) and suggest modifications in the methods by adding to the extraction residue, cellulase and pectinase to degrade the cell wall structure of the fruit and obtain larger amounts of pectin, which would imply the participation of pectin in the maintenance of fruit firmness. It was possible to infer there were no differences in the pectin levels extracted by the two methods, due to sugar contamination. As from the new stage in the execution by the two methods, the extraction was more efficient: 9.10% of pectin with EDTA and 7.63% with ethanol. The pectin contents found were higher than those mentioned in the literature, better explaining their responsibility in fruit firmness.