Label Decoder: Pectin

By , Toby Amidor, Food Network’s Healthy Eats
You’ve seen it on hundreds of labels and may have even used it in your own kitchen — learn all the need-to-know facts about this additive.

What Is It?

Pectin is a gelatin-like substance that is naturally found in some fruits. It’s often added to jams and jellies to help cooked fruits reach a gel-like consistency. It can also be used to thicken barbecue sauce, cranberry sauce, canned frosting and yogurt. Some homemade jellies may call for high pectin fruit such as quince, concord grapes, currants, raspberries or apples in order to help thicken them. Fruit that is slightly underripe contains more pectin than fruits that have fully ripened. 

Commercial pectins can be found on the market in liquid or powdered form. The liquid pectin is made from apples, while the powdered version is made from citrus fruits. Some folks like to use the commercial pectins to speed up the jam and jelly cooking process.

Click here for more information on pectin from Food Network.

More from Food Network:Have you used pectin? What label terms would you like us to decode next?

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