8.6.8 Gelified sugar fruit preserves

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Jellies are gelified products obtained by boiling fruit juices with sugar, with or without the addition of pectin and food acids. Jellies are usually manufactured from juices obtained from a single fruit species only, obtained by boiling in order to extract as much soluble pectin as possible.

Jellies have to be clear, shiny, transparent and with a colour specific to the fruit from which they are obtained. Once the product is removed from the glass receptacles where it was packed, jellies must keep their shape and gelification and not flow, without being sticky or of a too hard consistency.

Technological flow-sheet for jellies manufacturing covers two categories of operations: those to obtain gelifying juices and those related to the manufacturing of jelly itself.

a) Production of gelifying juices:

WASHING & SORTING are carried out in usual conditions;

CUTTING is applied eventually only to pomaces (apples, quinces) and are limited to cutting in halves or quarters;

BOILING IS PERFORMED WITH WATER ADDITION WITH 50-100% water, needed for pectin extraction. The boiling time is 30-60 min., it should not be longer so as to avoid pectin degradation; at the same time boiling must not be too violent.

JUICE SEPARATION is carried out by a simple drain through metallic sieve or cloths; in these cases the yield is lower and the residue can be used for marmalade production. In bigger productions it juice separation by hydraulic press is preferred, yield being in these cases greater.

JUICE CLARIFICATION is strictly necessary in order to obtain clear jellies. This step can be achieved by sedimentation during 24 hours or by filtration.


b) Manufacturing of jellies

BASIC RECIPE SETTING is done starting with equal parts in weight of sugar and juice (for example 1000 g juice and 1000 g sugar). As final jelly has to contain about 60% added sugar, weight of finished product must be of about 1600 g, by evaporation of about 400 g water.

BOILING is carried out as following: juice is boiled up to removal of about half of the water that has to be evaporated, then the calculated sugar quantity is added gradually; the remainder of the water is evaporated until a concentration in soluble substances (refractometric extract) of 65-67% is reached, in which is incorporated also the sugar from juice.

During boiling it is necessary to remove foam / scum formed. Product acidity must be brought to about 1% (malic acid) corresponding to pH > 3. Any acid addition is performed always at the end of boiling.

For juices rich in pectin, gelification will occur without pectin addition. If at the trial boiling test the gelification has not occurred, because of pectin absence, in this case 1-2% powder pectin will be added by operating as indicated: pectin is mixed with 10-20 fold sugar quantity and is introduced directly in the partially evaporated juice and then boiling is conducted rapidly up to final point. Evaluation of final point is done not only by refractometry but also by gelifying test.

A rapid test for evaluation of juice pectin content is possible by mixing a small sample of juice with an equal volume of 96% alcohol; the apparition of a compact gelatinous precipitate indicates a sufficient pectin content for gelification.

Boiling of jellies is performed in small batches (25-75 kg) in order to avoid excessively long boiling time which brings about pectin degradation.

COOLING is optional and is carried out up to 85 deg. C, in double wall baths with water circulation.

FILLING is performed at a temperature not below 85 deg. C in receptacles (glass jars, etc.), which must be maintained still about 24 hours to allow cooling and product gelification.

RECEPTACLE CLOSING is done after product gelification.

Usual jelly types are: quinces, strawberries, cherries, wild berries, alone or in mixes with apples. Grading of marmalades

Three categories can be defined:

The content in total soluble substances (refractometric extract) of marmalades must be 64% minimum; the acidity must be between 0.5% and 1.8% expressed as malic acid.

BASIC RECIPE SETTING For a normal composition - marmalade without pectin addition the following is a basic recipe:

100 kg semi-processed fruit product

(10% refractometric extract) …………… 10 kg soluble substances

55 kg sugar ………………………………. 55 kg soluble substances

155 kg 65 kg soluble substances

55 kg water to be evaporated

100 kg marmalade with 65% refractometric extract

This marmalade satisfies many standards and at same time has a good shelf-life since it contains less than 35% water. Semi-processed fruit products must have a minimum 8% refractometric extract; in this case the recipe should use 125 kg of raw material, with 80 kg water to be evaporate.

The use of semi-processed fruit products with a low refractometric extract presents the following drawbacks:

  1. higher water quantity to be evaporated;
  2. longer boiling times with negative impact of pectin degradation;
  3. loss of flavour and
  4. lower equipment efficiency.

Pectin addition in marmalade manufacture produces the following advantages:

  1. improvement of gelification,
  2. economy in fruit;
  3. shorter boiling time; this maintains taste and flavour and produces higher equipment efficiency.

Pectin addition makes it possible to obtain the "fine" type of marmalade from "noble" fruits which do not contain enough pectin (cherries, peaches, apricots, etc.). In marmalades from fruit mixes, low pectin content can be compensated by addition of semi-processed fruit products which are rich in this component (for example apples).

When pectin is to be added, the above recipe should be modified as follows:

80 kg semi-processed fruit product

(10% refractometric extract) …………… 8 kg soluble substances

55 kg sugar ………………………………. 55 kg soluble substances

10 kg pectic extract (10 % R.E.) ………. 1 kg soluble substances

145 kg 64 kg soluble substances

45 kg water to be evaporated

100 kg marmalade with 64% refractometric extract

Pectin can be added as pectic extract with about 10% refractometric extract (R.E.) in the recommended proportion or in the form of a powder considered with 100% dry matter (e.g. 100% soluble substances) in a quantity of about 1%.

In some countries it is usual to add 5-12% of corn syrup (calculated to finished product weight) to replace the corresponding quantity of sugar (100 parts corn syrup can replace 80 parts sugar). Corn syrup has to be liquefied by heating before use. Corn syrup addition reduces the too sweet taste of marmalade, avoids sugar crystallisation and gives a special shine to finished products.

Marmalade manufacturing follows the technological line drawing in Fig. 8.6.1 and covers the following steps:

"MARK" PREPARATION can be achieved from fresh fruits (as indicated in the section related to semi-processed fruit products) or starting from chemical preserved semiprocessed fruit products: "marks" or "pulps". In the latter case, pulps will be processed in marks which then will be desulphitated.

DESULPHITATION is carried out by boiling at atmospheric pressure, under vacuum in specialised equipment or under pressure in special retorts built in acid-resistant material. In any case, the desulphitation must be carried out before sugar addition because sugar will bound to the sulphur dioxide. The desulphitation operation must be conducted so as to be, if possible, fully completed; the finished product must contain less than 0.005% free SO2.

The technological flow for marmalade production according to Fig. 8. 6.1 is the following: fresh fruit after sorting on control belt (1) is washed in a washing machine (2) is brought to the continuous boiling equipment (3) then to the pulper (4); the semi-finished mark is passed on to the storage tank (6). Pulps are boiled and desulphited in continuous boiling equipment (3), then are brought to pulper (4) and to the storage tank (6).

BOILING aims at evaporating the required water quantity, to facilitate the formation of pectin-sugar-acid gel and to partially invert sugar (about 40% from total sugar). The boiling operation can be carried out in open kettles or in evaporators under vacuum.

In the latter case, the warm "mark" from storage tank (6) is aspirated in a concentrator (7) in a vacuum and submitted to a partial boiling up to removal of half of water quantity which needs to be evaporated; the calculated sugar quantity is then added by aspiration, keeping the boiling on.

After this the pectin extract or powder pectin which has previously been dissolved in warm water, is added; when the final concentration is reached, as indicated by refractometric control, the required quantity of acid is added. Sugar is added in proportion of 55% in finished product, pectic extract (10% refractometric extract) at a level of about 10-15% and the acid (citric, tartaric, lactic) in a quantity needed to obtain a finished product acidity of about 1%.

Boiling at atmospheric pressure affects not only the appearance but also the nutritional value of the products, mainly if these contain proteins, as some albuminoids coagulate even at 60C.

Food products for which flavour is an essential property as for example fruit juices, etc., are also affected by the action of heat. Heat treatment has an impact on vitamin losses, mainly of vitamin C, in the presence of oxygen as is the case at concentration in open vessels.

Figure 8.6.1 Technological line for marmalade production

Sugars are generally less damaged by heat at temperatures below 100 C; as the boiling point is increasing above 100 C, a risk of partial sugar caramelization exists.

In the study of heat effects on products submitted to concentration operation, it is necessary to take into account not only the evaporation surface temperature but also the distribution of the temperature in the whole liquid mass.

The length of the heating period also has a major influence because in many cases it is preferable to concentrate the liquid at a relatively high temperature in a short time avoiding the drawbacks of lower temperatures acting during a long time.

In order to maintain the food value and organoleptic properties, it is necessary that concentration take place at a low temperature which can be achieved by concentration under partial vacuum, taking into account that boiling point decreases when the residual pressure decreases, respectively with the increase of vacuum degree.

Advantage of concentration under partial vacuum are the following:

Technical procedures of concentration by vaporisation can be classified in:

a) concentration at atmospheric pressure: continuous or discontinuous;

b) concentration under partial vacuum: discontinuous (in vacuum equipment with simple or multiple effect) or continuous (in vacuum installations with continuous action or in thin film vaporisation installations).

Even if open kettle equipment is less expensive than evaporators in a vacuum, it is necessary to take into account that boiling under vacuum has the following advantages:

a) low boiling temperature (60-70 C), depending the degree of the vacuum; this give the fruit better taste and flavour-keeping qualities;

b) easy feeding with raw and auxiliary materials;

c) shorter boiling time;

d) better working conditions (vapour elimination in condensed water and not in open air).

There are small size evaporators under vacuum which can be well suited to the needs of medium size operations in developing countries.

COOLING of marmalade to about 50-60C can even be done in a vacuum evaporator by closing the heating steam and maintaining vacuum degree or by discharge in storage tanks (8).

FILLING in receptacles (boxes, jars, glasses, etc.) is done preferably with filling machines (9) followed by labelling(10). Small packages can be closed warm or after complete cooling; big packages (boxes, etc.) must be closed only after cooling, e.g. 24 hours after processing.

STORAGE of marmalade must be done in dry rooms (air relative humidity at about 75%), well ventilated, medium cool places (temperature 10-20 degrees C), disinfected and away from direct sunlight and heat. These measures are necessary because marmalade is a hydroscopic product and, by water absorption, favourable conditions for mould development are created. Technology of special fruit jams

Special fruit jams are products similar to marmalades but in which fruit partially keep their shape (whole, halves, etc.). Special fruit jams are obtained by boiling fruit with sugar, with or without pectin addition, with acid addition followed by n concentration by evaporation.

Special fruit jams present a pronounced gelification at their cooling and can be considered as fruits included in a pectin-sugar-acid gel.

High quality special fruit jams are obtained only from fresh fruit or possibly frozen and from only one fruit species.

Special fruit jams are classified in:

a) non-pasteurized (min. 68% refractometric extract) and

b) pasteurized (min. 65% refractometric extract); minimum acidity, expressed in malic acid, is 0.5%.

BASIC RECIPE SETTING is done taking into account following elements: - maintenance, as much as possible, of fruit shape, because this is specific to these finished products;

The basic recipe is: 80 kg fruit + 100 kg sugar + 1.6-2.0 kg pectin powder and 1 kg citric or tartric acid; this will yield about 165 kg of special fruit jam with 60% added sugar; water quantity to be evaporated is about 18 kg. If the finished product has to contain 65 % added sugar, the boiling has to be continued up to evaporation of about 30 kg water, the resulting finished product quantity will be about 153 kg.

Technological flow sheet for manufacturing of special fruit jams is as follows:

FRUIT PREPARATION: sorting, washing, peeling and coring (for apples, pears, quinces), or removal of quetches and stones/pits (for plums, peaches, apricots, cherries) or of short tails (for strawberries and wild berries). Pomace fruits are then cut in slices or quarters.

BOILING WITH SUGAR is the most important operation in production of special fruit jams and has as objective to evaporate water until gel formation and partial inversion of sugar. Boiling has to be conducted in such a way as to avoid fruit disintegration, but fruits must be well penetrated with sugar.

By boiling an equilibrium is reached, by osmosis, between sugar solution and cellular juice. The initial concentration gap between sugar syrup and cellular juice is very high and if the equilibration process is forced, juice comes out of cells and fruit loses its shape and may even disintegrate.

The boiling process accelerates the equilibration, intensity of which increases with temperature and boiling time.

Pectin addition shortens boiling and thus delays the equilibration; for this reason there are different methods for special fruit jams preparation:

The rest of the operations are similar to those described in the previous method.

- soft fruit (strawberries, wild berries) can be mixed with sugar directly in evaporating open kettles, without added water and then heated gradually up to boiling, which is continued as in previous method.

Boiling is preferably carried out in small open kettles (50-100 kg) in order to avoid too long a boiling and fruit disintegration.

Gelification corresponds generally to the reaching of a concentration of 65% soluble extract, respectively 68% refractometric extract. Practical test for gelification is done as for jellies and marmalades.

COOLING is a technological step strictly necessary in order to avoid fruit rising to the surface in preservation receptacles. Cooling is done in a double bottomed water bath in which water circulates at about 80 C.

FILLING of receptacles (jars, boxes, glasses, etc.) is carried out and it is necessary to assure at this stage that the finished product is homogeneous (equal quantities of fruits and gel).

Pasteurization is only applied to special fruit jams with 65 % refractometric extract packed in jars or boxes and is performed at about 100 C for about 20 min.

GELIFICATION is carried out during product cooling and intensifies during storage.

STORAGE must follow the same conditions as for marmalades.


8.6.9 Non gelified sugar fruit preserves Technology of fruit jams

Fruit jams are products obtained by boiling of fruits (whole, halves, etc.) with sugar syrup until the reaching a viscous consistency. Jams can be defined as fruits included in a concentrated syrup.

Jams are only prepared from fresh fruits; the usual product range covers the following species: strawberries, cherries, apricots, wild berries, peaches, plums, raisins, quinces, rose petals, etc.; manufacturing of jams from fruit mixes is not an accepted practice. Standards indicate that fruit jams have to conform with following conditions:

BASIC RECIPE SETTING is presented below as an indication:

100 kg fruits

150 kg sugar


250 kg

35 kg water to be evaporated


215 kg jam at about 72% refractometric extract

FRUIT PREPARATION is similar to special fruit jams with the difference that stone / seed removal is mandatory for all species.

BOILING FRUITS WITH SUGAR can be achieved by the same three methods described above for special fruit jams. By boiling a sugar content equilibration is foreseen and the operation must be conducted in such a way that texture, flavour and colour of fruits be preserved. Foam/ scum has to be removed during boiling.

Generally boiling in concentrated sugar syrup (at least 75%) after a previous diffusion during 2-4 hours is in practical use. Boiling must to be carried out in small portions (about 15 kg) in order to avoid fruit disintegration.

For some fruit species, boiling has to be conducted in many phases / steps with "stops" to enable sugar diffusion. At the end of boiling, vanillin at a ratio of 125 g for 100 kg jam may be added for some fruits (white cherries, raisins, etc.). At the same time, it is also possible to add citric or tartric acid in order to avoid the "sugaring" defect.

COOLING of jams, necessary in order to avoid fruit rising to the surface, is carried out as for special fruit jams.

FILLING of receptacles and STORAGE for jams are performed in same way as for special fruit jams. Technology of special non gelified fruit marmalades

Special non gelified fruit marmalades are products resulting from fruit without stones or seeds, sieved or squashed, concentrated by boiling, without sugar added and non gelified. Their consistency results from a low water content (about 35%) and a high percentage of insoluble substances (5-10%). Sugar the from fruits acts as a preserving agent.

Plum special non gelified fruit marmalade is the product representative of this category. Other fruit is used very rarely, because they have a reduced sugar content as compared to plums; though there are some countries producing special non gelified fruit marmalade from pears or sweet apples.

For plums, the finished product in this category must contain minimum 55-60% soluble substances (refractometric extract), rising up to 70% for a high quality product.

BASIC RECIPE SETTING for plums is done in relation with sugar content of fruits; when this is higher, the product quality is better and the yield is higher. Thus, if plums with 18% refractometric extract are used, 300-350 kg of fruits are needed for 100 kg finished product.

At the same time, concentration of sugar by boiling, also increases by three fold acidity and astringency of this special plum non gelified marmalade; for this reason it is recommended to use only sweet and completely mature plums.

WASHING is performed in usual conditions.

PRE-BOILING of fruits can be carried out in water or vapour, preferably with continuous running and has as its objective the softening of tissues.

DE-STONING is performed in a pulper.

BOILING of the sieved mass is done in double bottom open kettles with a big evaporation surface or in vacuum evaporators.

Boiling in open kettles enables production of a more tasty slightly caramelized, product; boiling in vacuum evaporators has the technological advantages indicated in marmalade production.

At the end of boiling and once of necessary concentration is reached, the product is poured directly into receptacles (drums, etc.) and left to cool in order to form a hard surface layer (crust).

STORAGE of well closed receptacles is carried out as for marmalade.

Special non gelified fruit marmalade can also be prepared from chemically preserved semi-processed fruit products, but the quality is lower than that obtained from fresh fruits.

Sometimes dried prunes in a mix with preserved semi-processed products can be used for plum special non gelified marmalade preparation.

In some countries plum finished products in this category are sweetened by the addition of maximum 30% sugar, calculated in relation to the finished product. Technology of fruit pastes

These products are obtained in a similar way to marmalades and special non gelified marmalades, but have a lower water content (about 25%). Reduction of water content can be achieved by continuing the boiling of the product or by natural or artificial drying.

A typical example of fruit paste without sugar added is the apricot paste - "pistil", etc. which is a concentrated special non gelified fruit marmalade poured in thin layers and sun dried.

An example of fruit paste with sugar added is quince paste which is a marmalade concentrated by evaporation. Sugar content must be 65%; soluble substances content, 7075 % refractometric extract and acidity at least 0.5% expressed as malic acid. Packing is done usually in polyethylene sheets and then in boxes or tins; storage conditions are similar to those for marmalade. Technology of fruit syrups

Fruit syrups are products obtained by dissolving sugar in juices obtained from direct pressing of fruits. Sugar dissolving can be done at room temperature or by heating.

Syrups have to contain 68% soluble substances (refractometric extract) and minimum 1 g/100 ml malic acid. Up to a maximum 10% of sugar can be replaced by corn syrup. Syrups must be manufactured from the juice of only one fruit species.

JUICE PREPARATION is carried out at room temperature as described above.

SUGAR DISSOLVING IN FRUIT JUICE can be performed by one of the following methods:

a) Boiling in open kettles, done by using the basic recipe:

350-400 kg fruit juice;

650-660 kg sugar;

max. 10 kg citric or tartric acid.

The juice is brought to boiling and the sugar is dissolved; the total time has to be as short as possible in order to avoid flavour loss and a too high sugar inversion degree (optimum inversion degree is 40%). Acid is added preferably towards the end of boiling.

During all boiling processes it is necessary to remove foam / scum. In order to avoid caramelization, the syrup has to be cooled rapidly, and this can be carried out in baths with double bottoms through which are circulated water.

One alternative to this method is to boil syrup in closed vessels to avoid flavour losses.

b) Boiling in a vacuum. The basic recipe is the same as above. Sugar and fruit juice are mixed previously in a pre-heating kettle and then transported to vacuum equipment.

Boiling is performed at 50 C and at the end the temperature is raised slowly up to 65-70 C. The syrup can be cooled directly in vacuum equipment by closing the steam inlet and by increasing the vacuum. In this boiling method it is possible to incorporate a flavour recuperation device.

c) A continuous process for syrup preparation can be carried out by dissolving components with heat while passing them through a horizontal cylinder with a screw inside.

In the methods where sugar is dissolved by heat, it is also possible to use chemically preserved juices.

In this case it is necessary to first perform the desulphitation of juices preserved with SO2. This can be performed by boiling juice with optional water addition (and before any sugar addition). High quality syrups are obtained however from fresh juices.

d) Sugar can also be dissolved at room temperature by using continuous flow percolators. These are similar to those used for salt solution preparation in vegetable canning processes. The juice goes over a sugar layer and is concentrated progressively until saturation (about 65 %). The syrup is then passed through a filtration section in the bottom of the percolator.

SYRUP FILTRATION is needed in order to clarify crystals; the filtration of syrup is done in warm conditions through cloth.

FILLING of syrup in bottles is done in aseptic conditions as much as possible in order to avoid syrup infection with osmophile yeasts.

Syrup preservation is assured by the high sugar content with respect to a low water activity [unclear].

STORAGE takes place in well ventilated storage rooms; avoiding sunlight at 10-15 C.

The usual product range is: strawberries, cherries, wild berries, citrus fruits.


8.6.10 Technology of "fruit in syrup" products

This type of product is represented by fruit (whole, halves or pieces) covered by a sugar solution and preserved by pasteurization. In these products sugar does not have a preservation effect but only a sweetening role.

Technological general flow-sheet covers the following steps:

SORTING is necessary in order to choose mature fruit, whole, unblemished, undamaged and with a specific texture. Fruit of good quality but with a texture not compatible with this type of finished product are used for the production of semi-processed products, marmalades, etc. This step is done manually on a sorting belt.

WASHING is performed in equipment with fan and sprays.

CLEANING covers removal of leaves, etc., skin removal by one of the described methods for some fruits and coring / pitting for others.

CUTTING is applied only to pomace fruits and is performed preferably by mechanical means.

PRELIMINARY HEAT TREATMENT depends very much upon the fruit types and can be as different as a light blanching up to a real boiling; this step is aimed toward softening of tissues for hard fruits, elimination of waxy pruin layer (plums, etc.) or enzyme inactivation for pomace fruits.

This treatment has to be reduced to the minimum necessary in order to avoid sugar losses. Some fruit (for example apricots, black cherries, grapes, etc.) does not undergo preliminary heat treatment.

COOLING is carried out in water (as cold as possible) and should not be too long to avoid soluble substances loss.

RECEPTACLE FILLING Fruit is introduced manually or sometimes mechanically (filling tables, etc.) in receptacles and then sugar syrup is added.

SUGAR SYRUP PREPARATION is performed by dissolving crystal sugar in hot water (90100 C). After the sugar has been dissolved, the syrup is boiled briefly; removal of impurities and coagulated substances is then performed by foaming / scumming. An addition of about 0.3% citric acid helps syrup clarification, followed by filtration through cloth.

PREHEATING/EMPTYING of open receptacles has as its objective to eliminate air from fruit tissues and this step is largely replaced today by receptacle closing under vacuum. Preheating may be done in steam or in water in such a way that syrup temperature reaches 8090 C and is maintained for 10-15 min.

HERMETIC SEALING is performed according to the type of receptacle and of cover/cap.

Pasteurization is carried out at 100 C and may be performed in continuous installations or in normal water baths. In some countries fruits in syrup are pasteurized at 80-90 C; this contributes to a greater flavour retention.

COOLING should be intensive in order to avoid discolorations and colour modifications and to reduce corrosion in metal cans.

Refractometric extract is to be measured 30 days after manufacturing. In order to establish exact concentration of sugar syrup to be added in each individual case it is possible to use the following formula:

C = 1.5 x [ (2 x E) - F ]

C = added syrup concentration;

E = refractometric extract needed in finished products, according to Table 8.6.3.

F = fruit refractometric extract.

Hot syrup is put into receptacles with a minimum temperature of 80 C in order to enable a corresponding vacuum after cooling.

It is possible to add in the syrup 0.3-0.5% citric or tartaric acid for fruit with a low acidity. Adding ascorbic acid in proportion of 0.8% assures colour maintenance and taste improvement based on its reducing action.

Avoidance of excessively soft texture in finished products may be achieved for soft fruit (strawberries, apricots, etc.) by dipping fruit in a solution of calcium chloride (5% CaCl2 in water).

Finished product defects and production "accidents" for "Fruit in syrup" and the means of preventing them

Some technical data for processing are seen in Table 8.6.2.

TABLE 8.6.2 Technical data for "Fruits in Syrup"

Type of fruit/product   Minimum fruit Soluble substances (in syrup), RE** at 20C,
name Size/shape content, % minimum
Apricots Halves 55 25
Strawberries Whole 47 25
Cherries Whole 53 22
Quinces Slices, 30 mm 50 26
Apples Halves or quarters 47 25
Pears Halves or quarters 57 22
Plums Whole 45 25
Melon Pieces 55 26
Wax cherries Whole 53 27
Wild cherries Whole 47 27
Pineapple Slices 55 26
Mangos Pieces 50 25
Papaya Pieces 55 27
Fruit mixes According to the 50 25
  conditions indicated    
  above, for each fruit    

** RE = Refract metric extract

TABLE 8.6.3 Quality in fruit products preserved with sugar and means to prevent them

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