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IntegroPectin: A New Citrus Pectin with Uniquely High Biological Activity †

Rosaria Ciriminna
Lorenzo Albanese
Francesco Meneguzzo
2 and
Mario Pagliaro
Istituto per lo Studio dei Materiali Nanostrutturati, CNR, Via U. La Malfa 153, 90146 Palermo, Italy
Istituto per la Bioeconomia, CNR, Via Madonna del Piano 10, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Presented at the 2nd International Electronic Conference on Foods—Future Foods and Food Technologies for a Sustainable World, 15–30 October 2021; Available online:
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2021, 6(1), 76;
Published: 19 October 2021


First isolated in 2019 via hydrodynamic cavitation (HC) of waste orange peel directly on semi-industrial scale (30 kg of orange processing biowaste in 120 L water) [1], and subsequently also from waste lemon [2] and grapefruit [3] biowaste from the citrus juice industry, “IntegroPectin” is the name we gave to a new family of citrus pectins obtained via HC of (organically grown) citrus industry waste. Easily achieved without the need to use ultrasounds, as happens in acoustic cavitation, the HC-based extraction process carried out in water only is an ideally suited green extraction technology [4]. Rich in adsorbed citrus terpenes [5], flavonoids and phenolic acids [6] concentrated at the pectin’s surface after mildly drying the aqueous extract, the new IntegroPectin pectin family has distinctly higher and broader biological activity in comparison to commercial citrus pectin. For instance, compared to commercial citrus pectin conventionally extracted with hot mineral acid, lemon IntegroPectin shows substantially higher antimicrobial activity [7]. Furthermore, whereas commercial pectin shows antibacterial activity against Gram-negative bacteria [8], lemon and grapefruit IntegroPectin share powerful antimicrobial activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative ubiquitous pathogenic bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and Pesudomonas aeruginosa [3]. Remarkably, grapefruit IntegroPectin is bactericidal for both strains at low concentration [3]. Lemon IntegroPectin is also a powerful mito- and neuroprotective agent [9], whereas grapefruit IntegroPectin is both neuroprotective and antiproliferative [10]. The latter properties are entirely absent in commercial citrus pectin. The antioxidant activity of lemon IntegroPectin measured by its ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) exceeding 122.000 μmol TE/100 g [2], amounts to 60% of the most powerful natural antioxidant extract, namely, freeze-dried olive mill wastewater. The original hypothesis for which the enhanced biological activity of the IntegroPectin is due to the synergistic action of the unique structure of the new RG-I-enriched pectin and the adsorbed bioactive small molecules [3], has been recently demonstrated studying the controlled release of the latter substances from highly antimicrobial cross-linked IntegroPectin films [11]. In this lecture, we will present the latest outcomes of collaborative research activities. The conclusions are of significant relevance to biomedical and food science researchers. Pectin indeed is the third most important (in terms of market value) hydrocolloid used by the food industry [12], and by far the most versatile.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, R.C., F.M. and M.P.; methodology, L.A. and F.M.; resources, M.P., L.A., R.C. and F.M.; writing—original draft preparation, R.C.; writing—review and editing, M.P.; supervision, M.P. and F.M.; funding acquisition, M.P. and F.M. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


This research received no external funding.

Institutional Review Board Statement

Not applicable.

Informed Consent Statement

Not applicable.

Data Availability Statement

Not applicable.


We thank Antonino Scurria, Istituto per lo Studio dei Materiali Nanostrutturati, CNR, Domenico Nuzzo, Istituto per la Ricerca e l’Innovazione Biomedica, CNR, Rosa V. Alduina, Alessandro Presentato, Delia Chillura, Elena Piacenza, Beppe Avellone, and Marzia Sciortino, Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche, Chimiche e Farmaceutiche, University of Palermo, Lara Testai, Dipartimento di Farmacia, University of Pisa, Laura M. Ilharco and Alexandra Fidalgo, Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, University of Lisboa, Valeria Di Liberto and Giuseppa Mudò, Dipartimento di Biomedicina, Neuroscienze e Diagnostica Avanzata, University of Palermo, for fruitful research collaboration aimed at identifying the biological properties of this new family of citrus pectins.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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MDPI and ACS Style

Ciriminna, R.; Albanese, L.; Meneguzzo, F.; Pagliaro, M. IntegroPectin: A New Citrus Pectin with Uniquely High Biological Activity. Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2021, 6, 76.

AMA Style

Ciriminna R, Albanese L, Meneguzzo F, Pagliaro M. IntegroPectin: A New Citrus Pectin with Uniquely High Biological Activity. Biology and Life Sciences Forum. 2021; 6(1):76.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ciriminna, Rosaria, Lorenzo Albanese, Francesco Meneguzzo, and Mario Pagliaro. 2021. "IntegroPectin: A New Citrus Pectin with Uniquely High Biological Activity" Biology and Life Sciences Forum 6, no. 1: 76.

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