Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Food Science (MS)

Degree Level



Food Science


Sun-OK Lee

Committee Member

Steven Ricke

Second Committee Member

Philip G. Crandall

Third Committee Member

Pengyin Chen


Biological sciences, Health and environmental sciences, DGGE, Gut microbiota, Pectin, Soy pectin


As interest increases for colonic health, various studies have been conducted to investigate functional ingredients for host health and prevention of chronic disease in humans such as colon cancer and Type 2 diabetes. In particular dietary fiber has been reported to have beneficial effects on colonic health. More recently, dietary fiber has been categorized based on its characteristics and numerous studies have been conducted to determine correlations with chronic diseases. Pectin is a naturally occurring biopolymer that has been used in various applications for purposes of pharmaceutical and biotechnology. Pectin is a soluble dietary fiber and can be entirely fermented by gut microbiota. There has been a growing interest in the health effects of pectin. In the food industries, pectin is used as a gelling and thickening agent. Pectins from different sources might have different characteristics such as the molecular size, DM (Degree of Methylation) and structural characteristics. For the current study, we hypothesize that pectins from different sources could have different fermentability properties and beneficially affect colonic health. The objectives of this research were to determine the effects of pectin sources on SCFAs and BCFAs production and to investigate the changes in the community of the fecal microbiota. We selected 3 different pectins (HMP: high methoxy pectin from citrus pectin, SBP: sugar beet pectin, SOY: soybean pectin), based on the fact that citrus pectin and sugar beet pectins in particular are widely used throughout the world. From our results, pectin samples stimulated production of total SCFAs. Also composition of human fecal microbiota was modulated by pectin samples. Therefore, pectin samples can influence fecal culture composition and might help maintain colorectal health.