The pectin methylesterase (PME) catalyzed de-esterification of pectin was studied in four frozen food model systems based on sucrose, fructose, maltodextrin, and carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) in a temperature range from -24 to 20 degreesC, with the aim of elucidating the applicability of the theory of "food polymer science" on the kinetics. The rate substantially decreased around the glass transition temperature in the case of CMC, while very low rates were observed far above the glass transition temperature in the case of maltodextrin, fructose, and sucrose model systems. In general, the kinetics of this reaction was found to be influenced more by factors such as the characteristics of the component solutes, freeze concentration, the possible viscosity enhancement due to a particular combination of solutes, and the molecular size of the substrate molecule rather than the glass transition process. The Arrhenius equation described the temperature dependence of kinetics both in the liquid state of all the systems studied (r(2) greater than or equal to 0.97) and the glassy state of CMC (r(2) = 0.95). A clear break in the Arrhenius plot was observed as the temperature decreased to subfreezing temperatures. The Arrhenius equation could describe the kinetics reasonably well in the rubbery state for fructose and sucrose model systems (r(2) > 0.992). In the case of maltodextrin and CMC, the Arrhenius plots showed a slight curvature followed by a break at the glass transition temperature for CMC. The WLF equation with system-dependent coefficients better described the kinetics in the rubbery state of the CMC and part of the maltodextrin system. A linear relationship between the logarithm of the rate and T - T-g' described the kinetics in the sucrose as well as fructose model systems (r(2) = 0.9928 and 0.993, respectively).