8.6 Fruit sugar preserves technology; jams, jellies, marmalade, fruit paste

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As a overall rule of thumb, a sugar concentration of about 60% in finished or processed fruit products generally insures their preservation. Preservation is not only determined by the osmotic pressure of sugar solutions but also by the water activity values in the liquid phase, which can be lowered by sugar addition; and by evaporation down to 0.848 aw; this value however does not protect products from mould and osmophile yeast attack.

Maximum saccharose concentration that can be achieved in the liquid phase of the product is 67.89%; however higher total sugar quantities (up to 70-72%) found in products are explained by an increased reducing sugar solubility resulting from saccharose inversion.


8.6.1 Jams

The preservation of fruit by jam making is a familiar process carried out on a small scale by housewives in many parts of the world. Factory jam making has become a highly complex operation, where strict quality control procedures are employed to ensure a uniform product, but the manufacturing operations employed are in essence the same as those employed in the house.

Fresh or pre-cooked fruit is boiled with a solution of cane or beet sugar until sufficient water has been evaporated to give a mixture which will set to a gel on cooling and which contains 32-34% water.

Gel formation is dependent on the presence in the fruit of the carbohydrate pectin, which at a pH of 3.2 - 3.4 and in the presence of a high concentration of sugar, has the property of forming a viscous semi-solid.

During jam boiling, all micro-organisms are destroyed within the product, and if it is filled hot into clean receptacles which are subsequently sealed, and then inverted so that the hot jam contacts the lid surface, spoilage by micro-organisms will not take place during storage.

The composition of jam made from stone fruit and berry fruit is shown in Table 8.6.1. About 30% of the vitamin C present in fresh fruit is destroyed during the jam-making process, but that which remains in the finished product is stable during storage.

The high moisture content of jam (equivalent to an equilibrium relative humidity of about 82%) makes it susceptible to mould damage once the receptacle has been opened and exposed from some time to the air. No problems of microbiological spoilage are likely to arise in the canned product during storage.

TABLE 8.6.1 Composition of some fruit jams

Type of Jam Moisture content % Sugar (as invert sugar, %) Vitamin C mg/100 g
Jam made from berry fruits: strawberry, raspberry, etc. 29.8 69.0 10 - 25
Jam made from stone fruits: apricot, peach, etc. 29.6 69.3 10 - 35

Source: FAD/WFP, 1970


8.6.2 Marmalade

This sugar preserve is defined as "semisolid or gel-like product prepared from fruit ingredients together with one or more sweetening ingredients and may contains suitable food acids and food pectins; the ingredients are concentrated by cooking to such a point that the TSS - Total Soluble Solids - of the finished marmalade is not below 65%".


8.6.3 Fruit paste

Fruit paste is a product obtained in the same way as special non-gelified fruit marmalade but with a lower water content - about 25% TSS in fruit paste.

Lowering water content could be achieved by continuing boiling of the product or by drying the product by natural or artificial drying. An example of paste without sugar is the sun dried apricot or prune paste.

8.6.4 General procedure for the preparation of jams, jellies and marmalade

  1. Boil the pulp or the juice (with water when necessary)
  2. Add the pectin

* to the batch while stirring very vigorously
* Pectin which has previously been mixed with 5 times its weight in sugar taken from the recipe)

  1. Boil for about 2 minutes to assure a complete dissolution
  2. Add the sugar while keeping the batch boiling
  3. Boil down quickly to desired Brix
  4. Add the acid (usually citric acid) and remove the froth
  5. Fill hot into the (previously cleaned) jars and close
  6. Invert the jars for three minutes to pasteurize the cover

* Note: the pectin in solution can also be added at the end of the step (e) and has to be prepared as follows: use a strong blender. For one litre of water add slowly into the blender 25 g of pectin mixed with 100 g of sugar taken from the recipe.


8.6.5 Basic recipes

The following recipes must be considered only as guidelines because the composition of the fruit can vary; also the taste of the consumers varies concerning the consistency, the sweetness and acidity.

Before starting to make jam it is important to know the yield to settle the question on containers. The calculation is made as follows:

In these basic recipes it is assumed that the fruits are poor in pectin content.

Recipe 1. Fruit: sugar = 50:50; desired Brix in the finished product is 68.

Soluble Solids

10 kg of fruit at 10% TSS 1.000 kg
10 kg of sugar 10.000 kg
60 g of pectin (grade 200) 0.060 kg
55 g of citric acid 0.055 kg
  11.115 kg


Recipe 2. Fruit: sugar = 45:55; desired Brix in the finished product is 68.

  Soluble Solids
d10 kg of fruit at 10% TSS 1.000 kg
2.5 litre of water -
12.2 kg of sugar 12.200 kg
65 g of pectin grade 200 0.060 kg
60 g of citric acid 0.060 kg
  13.325 kg


Recipe 3. Fruit: sugar = 40:60; desired Brix in the finished product is 68.


  Soluble Solids
d10 kg of fruit at 10% TSS 1.000 kg
3.3 litre of water -
15 kg of sugar 15.000 kg
85 g of pectin grade 200 0.085 kg
80 g of citric acid 0.080 kg
  16.165 kg


Various factors must be taken into account:

1. Size of the container: the quantity of pectin indicated in the recipes is valid for containers of 1 kg or less.


If container capacity is between: Increase pectin by:
1 kg and 2.5 kg 5%
2.5 kg and 5.0 kg 10%
5.0 kg and 10.0 kg 20%
10.0 kg and 20.0 kg 30%


2. Finishing point: the quantity of pectin is given for a final Brix - Total Soluble Solids (TSS) of 68%.

If the final Brix is 66 increase the pectin by 5%

" " is 65 " " " by 10%

is 64 " " " by 15%

" " is 62 " " " by 20%

" " is 60 " " " by 30%

3. Acidic taste. If the product is too acid, replace the citric acid by tartaric acid (63% of the amount of citric acid).

4. Formation of clots: If batch clots, it is probably due to the pH being too low or the or TSS being too high; correct accordingly.

5. Formation of liquid at the surface: if liquid forms on the surface, it is probably due to too low a pH or too low pectin content.

6. Crystallisation:

a) if liquid forms on the surfaces, then the pH is too low; reduce the acid content;

b) if liquid does not form on the surface, then TSS or pH is too high.

7. Formation of mould: the TSS is probably below 68 deg. Brix. The filling may have been done at a low temperature. If the containers are large, wait until they are cold before closing.

8. Wrong batch: dilute the jam with water to 30% TSS; cook briefly. Add this diluted jam to a new batch but in a ratio not exceeding 10%.


8.6.6 Processing of pineapple-papaya jam

The fruit should be prepared as per previous instructions.

For pineapples, the ends are removed and discarded; the cores and outer parts of the fruits are also removed. The fruit cylinders obtained are pulped through a special extractor (Fitzpatrick communiting machine) equipped with a 0.40-in screen sieve; the pulp thus obtained is used for making jam.

The papaya are prepared by hand-peeling the fruit; the fruit is then halved and the seeds removed. It is then pulped in the communiting machine using a 0.40-in screen sieve.

When ginger root is used as flavouring, it is peeled and macerated in a Kenwood blender to a very fine consistency.

A typical formula for a pineapple-papaya jam (50:50 ratio) with ginger flavouring is given as follows:

Pineapple pulp 25.0
Papaya pulp 25.0 pounds
Cane sugar 50.0
Apple pectin (150 grade) 6.0 ounces
Citric acid 6.4
Fresh ground ginger 7.5


Processing is carried out in the following way:

The weighed fruit pulp is placed in a stainless steel steam-jacketed kettle and heated to about 110F under constant stirring.

When the product reaches this temperature, the heat is turned off. The pectin (mixed in about ten times its weight with some of the weighed sugar), is then mixed into the fruit pulp, stirring constantly in order to prevent the pectin from clotting.

When the pectin has dissolved, the remainder of the sugar is added and dissolved completely in the mixture. The heat is then turned on and the jam mixture is stirred constantly until it starts boiling vigorously. During the remainder of the cooking, the product is stirred occasionally. Near the finishing point (approximately 221 F), the citric acid and the ginger (if it is used) are also added.

Determination of the finishing point is done by removing samples at intervals, cooling, and reading the soluble solids by means of a refractometer equipped with a Brix scale. After the jam reaches the proper Total Soluble Solids content, the heat is turned off and the surface scum/foam is removed.

The jam then is quickly put into receptacles which have been cleaned and sterilised with boiling in water for 30 minutes. The filling operation is done rapidly in order to prevent the temperature of the jam from falling below 190 F.

After filling, sterilised lids (boiled for 30 minutes in water) are placed on the receptacles and they are then sealed.

After this operation the receptacles are inverted for about 3 minutes to insure that the lids are sterilised. The receptacles are then placed upright. At this stage it is not necessary to do any further processing, therefore the receptacles are cooled in running cold water until they reach a temperature slightly above room temperature. They are then dried in air and labelled.

Evaluation of finished products.

During production at medium / large scale, it is recommended that quality controls be performed during manufacturing.

After ten weeks of storage at room temperature it is recommended that an examination of finished products be performed. The receptacles are opened and contents carefully emptied on to enamel trays without disturbing the formation of the jam.

The empty cans (if metal cans were used) are then inspected for signs of corrosion. Factors other than flavour include colour, appearance, syrup separation, firmness and spreading quality. For flavour, jam is tested on pieces of bread. Samples are taken for measurement of pH (with a glass electrode pH meter) and Total Soluble Solids (with a refractometer equipped with a Brix scale).

This evaluation enables to have a quality check during product shelf life and to obtain data needed for necessary improvements of future productions.

For pineapple-papaya jam, products made with 30% pineapple and 70% papaya with added ginger has the highest score for flavour. The use of plain tin cans causes corrosion problems which is not the case when acid resistant lacquer cans are used.


8.6.7 Pineapple jam making

  1. Boil 40 lb. of pulp and 12 lb. of water.
  2. Add 225 g of pectin to the batch while stirring rapidly.
  3. Boil for about 90 sec to assure complete dissolution.
  4. Add 60 lb. of sugar gradually if possible in several portions, while keeping the batch boiling.
  5. Boil down quickly to 69 deg. Brix (223 deg. F).
  6. Take off steam, remove foam.
  7. Add 300 cc citric acid solution 50%.
  8. Fill hot (180 deg. F).
  9. Invert receptacles for 3 minutes.

Check each batch for Brix 68-70 deg.; acidity/pH = 3.2 +/- 0.2.

Evaluate: absence of defects; colour; flavour; consistency.

Various fruit:sugar ratios can be manufactured; some basic recipes are as follows:

  Ratio 50:50 Ratio 45:55 Ratio 40:60
Fruit 55 lb 49.5 lb 44 lb
Water - 11 lb 13.2 lb
Sugar 55 lb 60.5 lb 66 lb
Pectin (150 grade) 225 g 237.5 g 250 g
Citric acid (50% sol.) 300 cc 320 cc 335 cc

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