GUVAVA JELLY MAKING PROCESS I PROCESSING AND PRESERVATION I FRUITS, FOOD TECHNOLOGY PRACTICAL #FOOD
Jellies are usually made by cooking fruit juice with sugar. Jelly should be clear or translucent and firm enough to hold its shape when turned out of the container.
Jams are thick, sweet spreads, which will hold their shape, but are less firm than jelly. They are made from crushed or chopped fruits and sugar.
For proper texture, jellied fruit products require the correct combination of fruit, pectin, acid and sugar.
Fruit: Fruit gives each spread its unique flavor and color. It also supplies the water to dissolve the rest of the necessary ingredients and furnishes some or all of the pectin and acid. Good-quality, flavorful fruits make the best jellied products. Commercially canned or frozen fruit preserved in its own juice may be used to make jellied products, but pectin must be added. If you preserve your own fruit, use ¼ slightly under-ripe and ¾ fully ripe fruit. Preserve the fruit in its own juice and note how much sugar is added to allow for that in the jelly recipe.
Pectin: Pectin is a substance in fruits that forms a gel if it is in the right combination with acid and sugar. All fruits contain some pectin, but some must be combined with fruits high in pectin or with commercial pectin products to obtain gels. Because fully ripened fruit has less pectin, one-fourth of the fruit used in making jellies without added pectin should be under-ripe. The use of commercial pectin simplifies the process, but jelly made without added pectin contains less sugar and tastes fruitier. Follow the manufacturer's directions for using commercial pectin and do not interchange liquid and powdered pectins.
Acid: The proper level of acid is critical to gel formation. If there is too little acid, the gel will never set; if there is too much acid, the gel will lose liquid (weep). For fruits low in acid, add lemon juice or other acid ingredients as directed. Commercial pectin products contain acids that help to ensure gelling.
Sugar: Sugar serves as a preserving agent, contributes flavor and aids in gelling. Granulated white sugar is the usual type of sugar for jelly or jam. Corn syrup and honey may be used to replace part of the sugar in recipes, but too much will mask the fruit flavor and alter the gel structure. Use tested recipes for replacing sugar with honey and corn syrup. Do not try to reduce the amount of sugar in traditional recipes. Too little sugar prevents gelling and may allow yeast and mold growth. Tested recipes must be used to make jellies without added sugar, and these products usually must be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
A large 8- or 10-quart saucepan is recommended because jellies and jams have a tendency to boil over. A heavy metal is best because it allows even heat distribution.
A jelly bag or suitable cloth is needed when extracting juice for jelly. Firm unbleached muslin or cotton flannel with the napped side turned in, or four thicknesses of closely woven cheesecloth may be used. Jelly bags or cloths should be damp when extracting the juice.
A jelly, candy, or deep-fat thermometer can be used to determine doneness in jellied products without added pectin.
A boiling water bath canner is necessary for processing all fruit spreads. A deep cooking pot with a rack may be used for a canner if it's deep enough for one or two inches of boiling water above the tops of jars. Be sure the pot has a close-fitting lid.
Preventing Spoilage of Jellies
Even though sugar helps preserve jellies and jams, molds can grow on the surface of these products. Research now indicates that the mold people usually scrape off the surface of jellies may not be as harmless as it seems. Mycotoxins have been found in some jars of jelly having surface mold growth. Mycotoxins are known to cause cancer in animals; their effects on humans are still being researched. Because of possible mold contamination, paraffin or wax seals are no longer recommended for any sweet spread, including jellies.
All jellied products should be processed in a boiling water bath to prevent mold growth. To process in a boiling water bath, pour the boiling product into a hot sterilized canning jar, leaving ¼-inch head-space. Wipe the jar rim, and close with a treated canning lid and screw band. Place on a rack in a canner filled with boiling water. The water should cover the jars by at least one inch. Cover the canner. Bring the water back to a boil; boil gently for 5 minutes. Remove the jars to a protected surface and cool, away from drafts, undisturbed for 12 hours.
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