Fruit Floating in Jams: Why Fruit Pieces Float and What to Do, in Strawberry and Other Jams!

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Fruit, Floating in Jams and Jellies

Floating fruit Homemade jam and jelly is one of the easiest foods you can "can" at home, but even so, fruiting float, especially in strawberry jam, is a common problem;

Floating: Why does fruit float in jam?

Floating fruit is actually fairly normal, and just indicates the difference in density between the liquid phase and the pieces of fruit, which contain entrained air and liquid which may also differ in density. So, before the jars cool and the gel forms, the pieces of fruit float to the top of the jar. This happens more commonly in strawberry jam, than other jams.

If your jam cools and has jelled with the fruit  separated, when you open the jars, just stir the pulp and juice back together.  The jars are stir absolutely safe to store and eat!

There are other, but less common reasons for fruit float: The fruit

  • was not fully ripe,
  • was not thoroughly crushed or ground,
  • was not cooked long enough, or
  • was not properly packed in glasses or jar.

Use appropriate procedures to prevent floating fruit.

Reference: How To Make Jellies, Jams, and Preserves At Home. United States Department of Agriculture. Extension Service. Superintendent of Documents, Washington, D.C. Home and Garden Bulletin Number 56.

Floating: How can floating fruit in jams and jellies be prevented?

After jam or jelly is boiled hard, remove from the heat and skim and gently stir every minute for 5 minutes,  to help prevent the fruit floating. Then fill the jars while the jam is still hot!

Also when you remove the jars from the water bath, leave them for about an hour to start cooling and seal. Then, after you check to make sure the jars sealed, if you notice any that have floating fruit, just turn the jars upside down; very gently. Come back in about an hour later and turn the jars right side up to once again. just keep doing this once an hour until the jars have cooled to room temperature, and the fruit will end up pretty well evenly distributed and the gel forms and sets the fruit in place!

Other Problems and troubleshooting jellied products


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