Evaluation of pectin binding of heavy metal ions in aqueous solutions

Chemosphere. 1999 May;38(11):2591-6. doi: 10.1016/s0045-6535(98)00466-4.


Evaluation of adsorption performance of several industrially manufactured pectins towards some toxic heavy metals was carried out. Adsorption isotherms for divalent cations in simulant aqueous solutions were measured and corresponding distribution coefficients were calculated. The following selectivity sequences we found for pectins: Pb2+ >> Cu2+ > Co2+ > Ni2+ >> Zn2+ > Cd2+. It was shown that a beet pectin exhibits a high affinity for Pb2+ and Cu2+ ions, an apple pectin for Co2+ ion and a citrus pectin for Ni2+ ion. The binding properties of all pectins towards Zn2+ and Cd2+ ions are extremely poor. The quantitative data on adsorption performance of pectins suggest their applicability as food additives or remedies for efficient removal of Pb2+, Cu2+, Co2+, and Ni2+ ions from different biological systems, including human and animal organisms.

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Cations, Divalent / chemistry*
  • Chenopodiaceae / chemistry
  • Citrus / chemistry
  • Food Additives / chemistry*
  • Metals, Heavy / chemistry*
  • Pectins / chemistry*
  • Rosales / chemistry
  • Solutions


  • Cations, Divalent
  • Food Additives
  • Metals, Heavy
  • Solutions
  • Pectins