Pectinases are a big group of enzymes that break down pectic polysaccharides of plant tissues into simpler
molecules like galacturonic acids. It has long been used to increase yields and clarity of fruit juices. Since pectic substances
are a very complex macromolecule group, various pectinolytic enzymes are required to degrade it completely.
These enzymes present differences in their cleavage mode and specificity being basically classified into two main groups
that act on pectin “smooth” regions or on pectin “hairy” regions. Pectinases are one of the most widely distributed enzymes
in bacteria, fungi and plants. This review describes the pectinolytic enzymes and their substrates, the microbial
pectinase production and characterization, and the industrial application of these enzymes.