What is the function of sugar in jellies and jams?
Sugar has several functions in jellies and jams. It does more than give a sweet flavor. At the high concentrations used, it "binds" water. As a result, pectin precipitates out of solution to form, on cooling, a gel. In addition, sugar acts as a preservative by "tying up" water so that most microorganisms cannot grow. Note: It is still necessary to process jams and jellies. The recommendation is to process in a boiling-water canner for 5 minutes if you live below 1,000 feet; 10 minutes if you live above 1,000 feet.
Barbara Willenberg, Nutritional
Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia
Last update: Tuesday, May 05, 2009