Fruits With Natural Pectin


The fruits with natural pectin include lemons, oranges, grapefruits and limes. During the season of fruits and vegetables, many people are amazed by their numerous health benefits. One of these benefits is associated with high levels of natural pectin which they contain. Many people do not know however that pectins are part of a large group of carbohydrates that have a specific place in our diet.

Certain fruits are filled with natural pectin. These fruits can be used to make jellies and jams that have less sugar than traditional jams and jellies because the fruit naturally contains pectin. Whether you’re looking for natural ways to sweeten your foods, or trying to live a healthier lifestyle, this guide is for you. Pectin is a natural substance with a positive effect on many crucial areas of our health.

The pectin health benefits are associated with the role of this polysaccharide in regulating lipid and cholesterol levels, strengthening the immune system and improving digestion. Pectin helps regulate levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol in our bloodstream, lower blood pressure and protect against heart disease. In some cases you can even use pectin for weight loss.

Fruits With Natural Pectin

What are fruits with natural pectin? Fruits with natural pectin are fruits high in both of the essential pectin acids. With pectin you can make jams and jellies in a slow cooker, as opposed to the regular stove top method. Pectin is what thickens your jam or jelly. It is not uncommon for many people to get heartburn. A recent journal states that over 25 million people just in the United States suffer from heartburn. If you know somebody who may be suffering from this condition, knowing more about natural pectin fruit can help you be a good Samaritan.

Which Fruits Are High in Pectin?

A form of water-soluble fiber called pectin can be found in many fruits and vegetables. Due to the fact that it transforms into a sticky gel-like substance when coupled with water, it is used commercially to manufacture jams and jellies. By binding to cholesterol-rich bile in your intestines and removing it from your body, pectin’s sticky qualities also benefit your health. Apples and citrus fruits are particularly abundant sources of pectin.

Benefits of Pectin

Pectin is a polysaccharide that is a type of carbohydrate that is present in the cell walls of plants, particularly the leaves, roots, and fruits. It primarily serves to unite plant cells. Plants differ greatly in their pectin concentration, and even the same plant can change over time. Pectin is often destroyed by enzymes when fruit ripens and softens. Because your intestines can’t digest pectin and other dietary fibers very effectively, they don’t add much to nutrition, but they do improve health. Consuming pectin affects blood cholesterol levels and helps control blood sugar. Additionally, it aids in the body’s removal of poisons like lead and mercury.

Citrus Fruit

Citrus fruits, particularly grapefruits, lemons, and oranges, are the fruits with the highest pectin contents. Citrus peel provides the majority of the pectin, however the pulp also contains some of it. To get a considerable amount of pectin, you’d need to consume the equivalent of six grapefruits, but you can simply get more from each grapefruit by using the peel via zest. Citrus zest can be added to basic yogurt or cottage cheese to give them flavor, as well as to homemade salad dressings and marinades.


Pectin is a great ingredient in apples. Given that most people consume the apple skins, which contain a considerable amount of the pectin, apples are frequently a superior supply than citrus fruit from a practical standpoint. Contrarily, the peel of citrus fruit, which is high in pectin, is typically removed and discarded. Apple pulp contains somewhere between 0.14 and 1.15 percent of its weight in pectin. Pectin content is influenced by variety, growing circumstances, and maturity.

Other Good Fruit Sources

All berries, peaches, apricots, cherries, and grapes are other fruits that are excellent providers of pectin, provided you consume them with their skins. Strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and dewberries are berries known for their pectin concentration. Bananas are another excellent source, particularly if you avoid eating them when they are overripe or too soft.

The Best Fruits High in Pectin for Jellies, Jams, and Preserves

Pectin Requires Heat, Sugar, and Acid to Set

Grandmother and granddaughter making fresh jam in kitchen

The majority of fruits naturally contain pectin, a water-soluble fiber that gives jams their spreadable consistency, enables preserves to set, and causes jellies to gel. The peel or skin of the fruit contains the highest concentration of pectin. Fruit preserves are made of pectin, a polysaccharide or long-chain carbohydrate composed of sugar molecules. Pectin molecules bond together to form a network that traps liquid in sponge-like pockets. Even though fully ripe fruit tends to be sweeter and more delectable, it has less pectin than fruit that is just beginning to ripen, whether it is high-pectin or low-pectin fruit.

How Pectin Works

To get a good gel, low-pectin fruits typically need to be combined with high-pectin fruits. To make up for naturally low levels or to speed up the process, you can also add commercial or home-made pectin.

Heat, sugar, and acid are all necessary for pectin to activate, whether it is naturally occurring or introduced. Lemons are an example of an acidic fruit with high quantities of pectin that gel readily without any prodding. Strawberries are a low-acid, low-pectin fruit that needs some tinkering to make them spreadable. Many berry jam recipes call for lemon juice to add the necessary acid, and a traditional strawberry and red currant preserves recipe combines low- and high-pectin ingredients. Being in season at the same time is advantageous.

Working With Pectin

Fresh fruit is the basis of traditional jellies, jams, and preserves. Fresh fruit is boiled until it becomes sauce-like in consistency. By releasing the pectin chains from the fruit’s cell walls, this procedure enables them to dissolve in the sluggish mash. It takes the addition of sugar, which helps to absorb some of the extra moisture, and an acid component, which balances the negative electrical charge preventing the pectin molecules from naturally bonding again in the mash, to bring them back together.

When using commercial pectin, which bonds much more quickly and strongly than natural pectin and might lead to an excessively Jell-O consistency, follow the instructions exactly. Read the directions on the box very carefully as well because different recipes call for various types of pectin.

Smooth jellies can be created using some fruit juices instead of fresh fruit, but most liquids have less natural pectin than fresh fruit does, so you nearly always need additional pectin—either homemade or from a commercial source. Fruit preserves are normally removed from the heat when they barely cover the back of a spoon and congeal into a single drop that drips from the end because pectin continues to gel as it cools.

Pectin can be added to fruit to prevent a lengthy boil, maintaining more of the fruit’s fresh flavor and texture. Simple freezer jam recipes include fresh fruit that has been mashed with sugar and concentrated pectin. They are then allowed to sit for a day or two so that the fruit can gel due to the formation of a pectin network.

High-Pectin Fruits

  • tart, underripe apples
  • unripe blackberries
  • lemons, limes
  • crab apples
  • cranberries
  • currants
  • gooseberries
  • plums (but not Italian variety)
  • grapes (Eastern Concord variety)
  • quinces

Moderate-Pectin Fruits

  • ripe apples
  • ripe blackberries
  • sour cherries
  • chokecherries
  • elderberries
  • grapefruits
  • grapes (California)
  • oranges

Low-Pectin Fruits

  • apricots
  • blueberries
  • ripe cherries
  • Italian plums
  • peaches
  • pears
  • guavas
  • pineapple
  • raspberries
  • strawberries


Fruits with a lot of pectin mean that you can make jam and jelly without using box pectin. It is possible to replace commercial fruit pectin with natural homemade fruit pectin or fruits that are high in pectin.

Many people wonder whether using manufactured pectin is required as jam and jelly season approaches. The short response is no.

I needed to learn more about how to organically thicken jams and jellies because of the way I live. Although the procedure required some learning, I eventually managed to create a good gel-like consistency.

Knowing how to make jams and jellies and preserve them without using a product from the shop is pretty liberating. Although occasionally buying box pectin will be required. For instance, when pectin-rich fruits are not readily available.

It’s crucial to note before moving on that jams and jellies created using natural pectin do not gel with the same consistency as they would with box pectin. When box pectin is used, the finished product is thicker and has a looser texture.


The majority of pectin sold on the market today is made in Europe and imported into the United States. The box product must be used within a year to guarantee the pectin keeps its capacity to gel. Avoid storing the box pectin year after year as the longer it is stored, the less able it is to gel.

The pectin needs to be activated in order for jams and jellies to set, whether you’re using store-bought box pectin or pectin substitutes such unripe fruits. Acid, heat, and sugar are required for this to occur.

Citrus fruit, such as lemons, will spontaneously gel because of their high acidity, whereas strawberries, which have low acid and pectin levels, need assistance to become a spreadable product.

Strawberries turn into a jam fairly nicely with the aid of lemon juice (bottle citrus juice has the largest quantity of acidity). Or you can add a fruit that is in season and high in pectin, like red currants, to make a delectable preserve.

Granulated sugar or another type of sweetener, as was already said, is one of the ingredients required to activate pectin. Now, when creating jam and jelly, sugar can be skipped or reduced. Following are your choices:

  • substitute sugar for honey or any other sweetener
  • use a low sugar box pectin

It must be noted, sugar is a preservative. It holds the color and texture of the food being preserved much longer than any other sweetener, including honey. Meaning, a jar of triple berry jam which has sat on the shelf for 2 years will maintain its color and texture better when sugar is used.


Those who are new (and seasoned) to preserving foods often reach for a box pectin from the market. Brands such as Sure Jell, MCP, and Ball make it easy for jams and jellies to gel and become a spreadable product.

The ingredients found in a box pectin are extracts from apples, citric acid, and dextrose (simple sugar made from corn). In short, there is nothing unnatural about purchasing box pectin. However, many choose to not use a manufactured pectin due to it containing a corn byproduct.


Pomona’s is an additional pectin available in stores. The majority of people who preserve goods prefer this option. The lemon, lime, and orange dried peel was used to extract the citrus pectin that makes up Pomona’s pectin.

There is a learning curve associated with this specific form of pectin, but it is possible to get jams and jellies to gel, just like when pectin-rich fruits are used.


Several fruits contain natural pectin. Some fruits have a higher pectin content than others, making them perfect for use in the production of spreadable goods. For jams and jellies, however, pairing fruits with medium to low pectin levels will also produce a gel-like texture.

It’s critical to realize that natural fruit pectin is not always capable of setting. Knowing that this issue can arise will enable you to have a backup plan ready. Plan B calls for reprocessing the product with the addition of more natural fruit pectin.


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  • Discover how easy it is to can meat, fish, soups, and stews.

These topics and many more are available within The Sustainable Canning Course. Reserve your spot now, and begin gleaning the necessary information needed to preserve foods as a modern sustainable homesteader does.


Looking for a more natural way to get jams and jellies to gel? Pectin substitutes, such as fruits high in pectin, is the way to go. Here are a few tips to help when pectin substitutes are made.

  1. Fruits low in pectin need to be paired with a high-pectin fruit to get a good gel. A homemade pectin, such as an apple fruit pectin, will compensate for a low-pectin fruit.
  2. Ripe fruit contains less pectin than unripe fruit. When selecting the best natural fruit pectin for jam make sure to select fruit which is not fully ripe.
  3. Fruit juice can be used to make jelly, however, juice contains less natural pectin than fresh fruit. Adding a supplemental pectin, either a homemade or commercial variety will help the fruit juice transform into a jelly product. 

When available, mix low-pectin fruits with fruits high in pectin. A triple berry jam is a great example of mixing fruits which are high and low in natural pectin.

When available, mix low-pectin fruits with fruits high in pectin. A triple berry jam is a great example of mixing fruits which are high and low in pectin.

Pectin Levels in Fruit and Vegetables

Pectin is commonly used as a dietary supplement and in cooking, principally as a thickener for jams and jellies. It has become one of the new superfoods or super-supplements. Whether the claims for the benefits of pectin  in diet are  realistic is a subject for another debate; of current interest here is the pectin levels of various fruits and vegetables.  That is also subject to debate, as there are factors that affect the values measure, such as:

  • Are only edible portions sampled and measured?
  • Test methods used
  • Which form is measured, soluble pectin citrate or pectin acid


Berries, apples, and other fruit contain pectin, a polymer that occurs naturally. It thickens when cooked with sugar, which is a feature of jams and jellies.

Pectin can also be produced on your own.

The directions are on this page. Additionally, visit here if you’re simply seeking for the greatest pricing and the widest range of pectin alternatives.

The majority of the pectin you find in supermarkets was made in Europe and imported into the United States. It has a short shelf life, and you normally don’t want to store it from year to year because it will lose its capacity to gel.

Pectin concentrations in fruit and vegetables.

As applicable to making Jams and Jellies

Group I:    If not overripe, it usually has enough natural pectin and acid for gel formation with only added sugar.
Group II:    Low in natural acid or pectin, and may need addition of either acid or pectin.
Group III:    Always needs added acid, pectin or both.
Group I
If not overripe, has enough natural pectin and acid for gel formation with added sugar only.
Group II
Low in natural acid or pectin; might need addition of either acid or pectin.
Group III
Always needs added acid, pectin or both.
Apples, sourApples, ripeApricots
Blackberries, sourBlackberries, ripeBlueberries
Citrus skins (oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, lemons, limes, etc. – the pectin is high in the skin but low in the fruit)Cherries, sourCherries, sweet
CurrantsGrape Juice, bottled (Eastern Concord)Grapes (Western Concord)
GooseberriesGrapes  (California, and all other than Concord)Guavas
Grapes (Eastern Concord)LoquatsNectarines
LemonsOranges Peaches
Loganberries Pears
Plums (not Italian) Plums (Italian)
Quinces Pomegranates
 Raspberries * see note below 
  • Researchers have consistently noted that raspberries contain little pectin. But many home jam-makers have discovered that their jams frequently behave as though they contain a lot of pectin. I often give raspberries a modest quantity of pectin to get a firm set.

Commercial pectins come in powdered and liquid forms and are derived from citrus or apples. When using commercial pectin, be sure to adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions. In recipes, the powdered and liquid versions cannot be used interchangeably.

The table above provides a lab-tested comparison of the fresh weight pectin content values from Campbell and Palmer (1978), which the authors presented as calcium pectate, and values from Zilversmit (1979).

The table below compares the study’s review of published values with the data from table one (the reference column)

In addition, the pectin concentration of all fruits is often higher when they are just beginning to ripen and decreases as they get older, from completely ripe to overripe. Pectins are broken down during the ripening process, which causes the fruit to become softer as it ages. Crabapples and apples are excellent sources of pectin and are frequently used to make commercial pectin, especially unripe varieties. Citrus peels are used to make some commercial pectin.

Testing for Pectin

Rubbin’s ethanol is used in a test to give an approximate estimate of the fruit’s pectin content. Combine 1 tablespoon of rubbing alcohol with 1 teaspoon of cooked, cooled crushed fruit. Shake gently in a container that is closed. Fruit juices with a lot of pectin will solidify into a gelatinous mass. Only tiny rubbery particles will form if the fruit has a low pectin content. A few pieces of the jelly-like substance will form in those with an average pectin level.

It should go without saying that you should never consume the test mixture (which contains the rubbing alcohol) since rubbing alcohol is poisonous, just like you should never place a cup of very hot coffee on your lap while operating a motor vehicle.

less than half a cup in size. So, 1 pouch of liquid pectin is equal to little less than 1/2 cup of dry pectin.

Note: Pie fillings are made with ClearJel, a starch. It is not a pectin, but rather a special starch that can be used to make pie fillings that are safer to can at home, such as apple or blueberry pie filling. because the dispersion of heat is more uniform.

Health Benefits Of Pectin

Today, I’m going to give you a run-down on the health benefits of pectin. Did you know that there are many health benefits of pectin? You may want to stock up because they’re great for you! Pectin is a type of dietary fiber found mainly in fruits (especially apples) vegetables and berries. There are even vegan variants available now that are plant-based and contain zero animal content at all – but let’s get back to the original we’ll be talking about today: apple pectin.

  1. Helps in digestive diseases: Apple pectin is mostly used as complementary medicine to treat digestive issues.
    • Because apple pectin is high in fiber, it is used to:
      • Treat colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and other digestive illnesses connected to these
      • Help regulate bowel movements and firm stools
      • Reduce diarrhea-related inflammation
    • This is one of the reasons it is a component in several drugs used to treat intestinal diseases.
  2. Cardiovascular problems: Apple pectin inhibits the absorption of extra cholesterol in the stomach, which is known to lower total cholesterol levels, prevent atherosclerosis, and lessen the incidence of heart attacks and strokes.
  3. Skin health: Although there is little evidence to support these uses, some people prefer to apply apple pectin powder to their skin to relieve inflammation.
  4. Weight loss: Pectin, in its natural form, is not digested by the body. Thus, it acts bulk to your meals without adding calories. When combined with water, pectin forms a gelatinous substance. It can increase your feeling of fullness and help you eat less food. Additionally, apple pectin can cause weight reduction by reducing the rate at which cholesterol is absorbed from foods. 
  5. Regulates blood sugar: In addition to lowering food intake, apple pectin binds to carbohydrates and lipids in your stomach and intestine, slowing down absorption. As a result, it can maintain your blood sugar levels and stop them from increasing after meals. Apple pectin is regarded as a good dietary supplement for people with diabetes.
  6. Removes toxins from the body: In addition to removing “unwanted toxins and heavy metals (mercury, lead, aluminum, etc.),” pectin lessens the negative consequences of radiation exposure. It binds water and toxins together and bulks the stool, thus transporting toxins out of the body.
  7. Mood stabilizer: In the body, apple pectin changes into butyrate. It has been widely established that butyrate can stabilize mood. People who lack brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) experience depression and insomnia. Butyrate can encourage the brain to release BDNF, which further reduces stress, depression, and anxiety.
  8. Vomiting: In a clinical experiment involving 62 boys with diarrhea, a diet consisting primarily of rice and pectin (4 g/kg for one week) decreased vomiting. Another clinical trial had 18 children with cerebral palsy who were given either a diet high in pectin (enteral liquid 2:1 v/v) or low in pectin (enteral liquid 3:1 v/v). The high-pectin diet decreased vomiting after four weeks. Again, the findings are encouraging but insufficient to support this pectin health benefit. Additional clinical trials are necessary.
  9. Sore throat: Soluble fiber, like that found in apple pectin, can create a barrier and coating in the throat, reducing swelling and relieving soreness.
  10. Cancer: An investigation team from the Institute of Food Research in Norwich, England, found that a component of pectin links to the tumor-causing protein called galectin 3.

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