Jesús A. Salas-Tovar1, Adriana C. Flores-Gallegos1, Juan C. Contreras-Esquivel1, S. Escobedo-García1, Jesús A. Morlett-Chávez2, Raúl Rodríguez-Herrera1
1 Food Research Department, School of Chemistry, Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila, Boulevard Venustiano Carranza and José Cárdenas s/n, República Oriente, 25280 Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico
2 Clinical and Molecular Diagnosis Laboratory, Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila, Boulevard Venustiano Carranza and José Cárdenas s/n, República Oriente, 25280 Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico
Pectin methylesterase is an enzyme with an important in vivo role in plants as well as in food industry. This enzyme catalyzes the hydrolysis of methyl ester bounds in pectin which is one of the main components of cell wall in plants, producing methanol and free carboxylic groups. The effect of pectin methylesterase in food quality has been extensively studied, producing desirable effects in texture improvement as well as undesirable effects in some beverages. Likewise, the low methoxyl pectin produced by this enzyme has characteristics that contribute to formulate best quality food products. Pectin methylesterase is a ubiquitously enzyme that presents multiple isoforms, but is not only present in plants; it is also found in fungi, bacteria, and yeast, which have
specific chemical and physical characteristics. The latter makes the task of analyzing the wide variety of these enzymes with its specific characteristics difficult. Based on this enzyme relevance and the aforementioned, multiple methods have been developed in order to evaluate pectin methylesterase activity with different research objectives. In this paper, the importance of the enzyme as well as advantages and drawbacks of the different methods will be discussed besides applications and evolution of these will be mentioned. Additionally, this paper will improve the understanding of the systems used in pectin methylesterase activity analysis.