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Pectin Powder for Jam Setting

Pectin Powder for Jam Setting

Pectin Powder for Jam Setting

The amount of pectin required for setting a jam is dependent on the quantities of natural pectin already available in the fruit used, the acidity levels (pH) & the amount of sugar. For example, in a standard recipe of equal quantities fruit to sugar, plums will need approx.0.2% pectin to ensure setting whereas a strawberry jam may require pectin at 0.7%+. A gel network is formed when there is the correct ratio of pectin (0.5-1%), fruit solids, sugar (60-65%) and water at a pH of between 2.5-3.5. The pH is typically adjusted and controlled by the addition of citric acid at around 0.5%.

Specific temperatures are required to complete the jam-making process and a jam at 103°C will have the necessary 65% sugar concentration for a correct set. The citric acid is added near the end of cooking (to avoid breaking down the pectin) and the jam can be checked for setting either by measuring the total soluble solid percentage with a refractometer or cooling a small quantity of the jam and checking the consistency.

As the natural composition of fruit varies according to the season, growing region and selected variety, the following recipes are approximate guidelines. In all recipes, combine 80% of the sugar with the fruit and bring to the boil. Mix the remaining sugar with the pectin and acid & heat to 103°C for 4 minutes, test check for setting and pack into clean jars. If required, the pH can be adjusted before packing with the addition of small amounts of extra citric acid, ideally hydrated in a 50% water solution for ease of incorporation. Ideal pH for the finished jam is 3.0-3.1.

Example Recipes

Blackberry Jam

  • 2.5kg Blackberries
  • 2.5kg White Sugar
  • 20gm Pectin Powder LM
  • 14gm Citric Acid

Strawberry Jam

  • 2.5kg Strawberries
  • 2.5kg White Sugar
  • 33gm Pectin Powder LM
  • 25gm Citric Acid
  • 50ml Lemon Juice
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