About Fruit Pectin

Pectin is a natural water-based substance that's present in ripe fruit. It's essential for thickening jams, jellies, and other types of preserves. Some recipes add commercial fruit pectin when more than the naturally occuring amount of pectin is needed — for example if you want to thicken fruit juice into a jelly). Each recipe will indicated the type of pectin (powdered or liquid) to be used.

Commercial Pectin

Commercial pectin is available in most supermarkets or where canning supplies are sold. Pectin may be in short supply in the spring and summer months — the peak canning months. So be sure you have enough on hand before your start preparing your recipe.

Before canning, inspect the pectin package for water stains, holes, or any other sign that it's come into contact with food — like food sticking to the package. Check to make sure the package is sealed and that it's not past the use-by (expiration) date.

Using the pectin after the date on the package may affect your final results because the quality of the pectin may have deteriorated. Pectin hasn't always contained an expiration date so if your pectin package doesn't provide an expiration date, don't use it; it may be a sign that it's extremely old.

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