Plant cell walls are composed of polysaccharides that may be unavailable for human absorption. Pectins are part of these fractions, and since certain types have high amounts of low molecular weight galactans, they might exert beneficial health effects in human consumption. These effects include inhibition of the beginning and progression of certain types of cancer, since the oligosaccharides might be absorbed throughout intestinal mucosa. In this way, pectins extracted and modified from three types of plants will have their possible positive effects evaluated in colon cancer cells. Pectins will be extracted from ripe papayas, citrus and chayote. In the last two plants, pectins will be chemically and thermally modified, respectively. Since previous data suggested these three types of pectins are galactan-rich ones, the obtained results could open possibilities for the design of new plant-derived functional foods.
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