jams, jellies, and preserves
bkd at GRAPHNET.COM
Thu Jun 1 08:40:54 UTC 2000
From: A. Vine <avine at ENG.SUN.COM>
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Date: Wednesday, May 31, 2000 2:29 PM
Subject: Re: jams, jellies, and preserves
>> And then there's conserve, which is 'jam made of fruits stewed in
>> sugar', according to AHD. According to the labels at the supermarket,
>> it's 'continental extra jam', 'gently cooked in open pans', and without
>> exception 'imported from France'.
>Perhaps the difference between preserves and conserve (besides French) is
>or gelatin, but this is just a guess based on Lynne's listing of label
I forgot about conserves in my original reply...and yes this mirrors my
experience with the products.
On a continuum you have jam/jelly at one end, with no discernible fruit type
element, other than the flavor, somewhere in the middle are preserves, which
have actual bits of fruit suspended somewhere in the medium, and conserves
at the other end, where, ideally, there is no medium, just fruit and sugar.
All of which leads me to the FDA website, which is the only dictionary that
matters as far as products on US supermarket shelves is concerned, and is
quite prescriptivist by nature:
What guidance does FDA have for manufacturers of Fruit Jams (Preserves),
Jellies, Fruit Butters, and Marmalades?
The standards of identity for jams and jellies (21 CFR 150) require that
these products be prepared by mixing not less than 45 parts by weight of
certain specified fruits (or fruit juice in the case of jelly), and 47 parts
by weight of other designated fruits, to each 55 parts by weight of sugar or
other optional nutritive carbohydrate sweetening ingredient. Only sufficient
pectin to compensate for a deficiency, if any, of the natural pectin content
of the particular fruit may be added to jams and jellies. The standards also
require that for both jams (preserves) and jellies, the finished product
must be concentrated to not less than 65 percent soluble solids.
Standards of identity have also been established for artificially sweetened
jams and jellies, and for these products the fruit ingredient must be not
less than 55 percent by weight of the finished food product.
Fruit butters are defined by the standard of identity as the smooth,
semisolid foods made from not less than five parts by weight of fruit
ingredient to each two parts by weight of nutritive carbohydrate sweetening
ingredient. As is the case with jams and jellies, only sufficient pectin may
be added to compensate for a deficiency, if any, of the natural pectin
content of the particular fruit. The fruit butter standard requires that the
finished product must be concentrated to not less than 43 percent soluble
There is no formal standard of identity for marmalades. However, to avoid
misbranding, a product labeled sweet orange marmalade should be prepared by
mixing at least 30 pounds of fruit (peel and juice) to each 70 pounds
sweetening ingredients. Sour or bitter (Seville) orange marmalade, lemon
marmalade, and lime marmalade should be prepared by mixing at least 25
pounds of fruit (peel and juice) to each 75 pounds of sweetening ingredient.
The amount of peel should not be in excess of the amounts normally
associated with fruit. The product should be concentrated to not less than
65 percent soluble solids.
Jams, jellies, and similar fruit products should, of course, be prepared
only from sound fruit. Decayed or decomposed fruits and insect-contaminated
fruits should be sorted out and discarded.
You'll notice the conspicuous absence of conserves, though it's likely
considered a special case of jam, where the fruit content exceeds the minmum
by some absurd amount...
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