Combinations of pectins and caseins are ingredients of many food products. Therefore the thermodynamic compatibility of both components was examined to investigate the influences of environmental factors as well as of the structure of the pectin. High-methoxyl pectin was demethoxylated and amidated, respectively, and tested for the compatibility with sodium caseinate under varying conditions of pH and ionic strength. The compatibility increased with increasing pH and decreasing ionic strength. Demethoxylated pectins were more and amidated pectins less compatible with the caseinate. Changes in the pectin hydrophilicity, solubility and molecular weight and possibly local interactions such as electrostatic attraction, hydrogen bonding and calcium bridges are involved in the compatibility of the components. The type and degree of the pectin modifications as well as the type, composition and properties of the protein were found to be of great importance for the thermodynamic compatibility.
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