Research Highlight

Microwaves extract pectin from waste mango peel

doi:10.1038/nindia.2015.32 Published online 12 March 2015

Researchers have developed a simple and effective technique involving microwave-assisted heating to extract the polysaccharide pectin from waste mango peel1. Pectin can be used to produce gelling and stabilizing agents for use in the food and cosmetic industries. In addition, pectin has been shown to lower cholesterol and glucose levels in blood.

To extract pectin from waste mango peels, the researchers prepared a dried powder from finely cut pieces of waste mango peels. They then employed a microwave extractor to extract pectin from solutions made by dissolving peel powder in organic solvents.

The researchers found that the yield of pectin increased as the microwave power was increased from 160 watts to 420 watts, whereas the pectin yield decreased for microwave powers higher than 420 watts because pectin was degraded at those powers.

They found that pH levels above 3 slowed the release of pectin, increased steadily with increasing microwave duration and reached a maximum at 2 minutes.


1. Maran, J. P. et al. Microwave-assisted extraction of pectic polysaccharide from waste mango peel. Carbohydr. Polymer 123, 67–71 (2015)