PETERSBURG, W.V.—Sugarmakers Gary Mongold and Mark Bowers are developing a commercial use for pectin, a residual ooze that sometimes forms in walnut syrup during production.
Mongold, who operates 700-tap Mongold Walnut Farm in Petersburg, W.V. where Bowers also taps maples, made a recent discovery about an alternative use for pectin.
“I heard on the radio a story about how the Mayo Clinic was saying pectin was good for arthritis,” Mongold told The Maple News, during an interview at the West Virginia Maple Producers Association annual meeting this spring.
Mongold said he has suffered horribly from debilitating arthritis for many years and was excited by the prospect of using a waste product to cure a lifelong affliction.
“I’m using myself as a natural guinea pig,” Mongold said.
Mongold said he had four and a half gallons of pectin stored from this season’s walnut syrup production season.
“It’s thick as apple butter,” he said.
Mongold said he has been using the pectin primarily as a sweetener for his black coffee, adding a heaping tablespoon of the stuff.
The results have been remarkable, he said.
‘I’m running up and down the steps,” he said. “I’m feeling better.”
The two sugarmakers are hopeful they may be onto something.
“If it can do this, guess what it will be worth,” Bowers said.