Inactivation of Endogenous Pectin Methylesterases by Radio Frequency Heating during the Fermentation of Fruit Wines

Yan Zhao, Xiaobin Yu*, Wei Zhao, Gen Li, Guangpeng Liu, Yanrui Ma, Le Chu, Yinfei Ma, Ying Zhang, Yao Lu, Fatao He, Xiaobo Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Pectin methylesterase (PME) is a methyl ester group hydrolytic enzyme of either plant or microbial origin. Importantly, endogenous PMEs in fruits can catalyze the demethoxylation of pectin with a bulk release of methanol, largely impacting the fruit juice and wine industries. Here, we demonstrated radio frequency (RF) heating for inactivation of endogenous PMEs and investigated the relevant mechanisms underpinning enzymatic inactivation. The RF heating curve indicated that the optimal heating rate was achieved at an electrode gap of 90 mm (compared to 100 mm and 110 mm) and that the inactivation rate of the enzyme increases with heating time. RF heating exhibited better effects on enzymatic inactivation than traditional water heating, mainly by changing the secondary structures of PMEs, including α-helix, β-sheet, β-turn, and random coil. Moreover, fluorescence spectroscopy indicated changes in the tertiary structure with a significant increase in fluorescence intensity. Significantly, application of RF heating for inactivation of PMEs resulted in a 1.5-fold decrease in methanol during the fermentation of jujube wine. Collectively, our findings demonstrated an effective approach for inactivating endogenous PMEs during the bioprocesses of fruits.

Original languageEnglish
Article number265
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • fermentation
  • fruit wine
  • inactivation
  • pectin methylesterase
  • radio frequency


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