Thursday, 31 October 2013

Start a Business of Making Jam For Diabetics

Start a Business of Making Jam For Diabetics

Starting a Jam and Jelly business can provide local consumers with healthier or tastier options and strengthen communities through entrepreneurial means. If you are confident in your business acumen and if people tend to rave about your jams and jellies, running a successful small business might provide you with fulfillment and profit.

There is a wide variety of Low-Sugar and Sugar-free Jams, Jellies and Preserves on the market. Diabetics must be cautious of their sugar and carbohydrates intake. 

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • In addition to adding sweetness, sugar also helps in gel formation, and reducing the risk for spoilage. Lowering your sugar content can impact gelling and preservation. 
  •  Low-calorie sweeteners have different  stability when heated, with some losing some of their sweetness with cooking. 
  • Jellies and jams that are made without  heat processing will need to be refrigerated to prevent spoilage.

Making Sugar-Free Jam

There is jam for diabetics. It seems to taste so much more like the fruit it came from than jams you buy at the store. However, it’s no secret that jam is mostly sugar, and in fact, jam is one of those things that is tricky to make sugar-free. This is because it is sugar that gives jam its characteristic mouthfeel, and also because it acts as a preservative.

It being the height of the berry season, and having just purchased a flat of my favorite berry – a local variety of blackberry called the olallie berry, I decided to give sugar-free jam making a try. Hunting for methods, I saw a few approaches to making sugar-free jam, so I decided to experiment, both with blackberries and Strawberries.  

The Issues

Since sugar is part of what preserves jam, most recipes I found were for what is often called “freezer jam”. This is because you can’t keep it on the shelf for any length of time. It generally will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks, but any jam you want to keep longer than that should be stored in the freezer. 

The other issue with jam is that for most fruits, commercial pectin is added, which has sugar in it. Some fruits, such as plums, have enough pectin that you don’t need to add any, but berries generally need to have pectin added. Blackberries have some of their own pectin, but strawberries have essentially none. 

Pectin Define as-

A type of soluble fiber  found mainly in certain ripe fruits such as apples and plums. With water, it forms a gel, and commercial pectin is often used in making jams and jellies.

Approach #1: Boil it Down

The first thing I tried was the simple route: I just added some water and artificial sweetener  and boiled them down, hoping that the natural pectin would be enough. This produced a spreadable puree with the blackberries, but it was very concentrated (2 cups of berries made ½ cup of jam), and was generally lacking in jamminess – it wasn’t cohesive enough, for lack of a better word. By the next day, small pools of liquid needed to be stirred in. 

The strawberries didn’t work at all using this technique, even when I pureed them in the blender first. The resulting mush in no way resembled jam.

Approach #2: Gelatin

A recipes for sugar-free strawberry jam which included strawberry Jello.  For a fresh flavor, I decided to try using unflavored gelatin. For the blackberries, a bit less than a packet (a little less than 2 teaspoons) worked well for two cups of blackberries mixed with 2/3 cup of water and sweetener to taste. This produced a little less than a cup and a half of jam, and  the consistency. It was a little “bouncy”, and needed to be stirred, but it produced a credible and spreadable jam. 

How to Make Diabetic Jam?

The first step in making diabetic jam is to sterilise the storage containers. Commence by mixing 2 cups of blueberries, or strawberry, on a saucepan in medium heat, adding a cup of water and sugar€“free gelatin. The berries are crushed and stirred during heating until brought to boil, then the heat is reduced to simmering, whilst stirring. The prepared jam can then be placed in a sterilised container and refrigerated.

Some Recipe

Apple Pie Jam

Apple Pie Jam is a low-sugar or low-honey cooked jam made with Pomona’s Pectin. Pomona’s Pectin contains no sugar or preservatives and jells reliably with low amounts of any sweetener. See below for where to buy.
Yield: 4 to 5 cups
Before You Begin:
Prepare calcium water. To do this, combine ½ teaspoon calcium powder (in the small packet in your box of Pomona’s pectin) with ½ cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well. Extra calcium water should be stored in the refrigerator for future use.

Apple Pie Jam Ingredients

3 to 4 pound of apples (9 to 12 medium apples)
¼ cup up to ½ cup water
Peel, core, and chop apples and put in a sauce pan with the water. Bring to a simmer and simmer covered, stirring and mashing occasionally, until you have chunky or smooth apple sauce. Remove from heat and measure out 4 cups of apple sauce.
Make Jam with:
4 cups of cooked apple sauce
2 tsp calcium water
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
½ cup honey or maple syrup or ¾ cup up to 2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin powder

Apple Pie Jam Directions

1. Wash jars, lids, and bands. Place jars in canner, fill canner 2/3 full with water, bring to a boil. Turn off heat, cover, and keep jars in hot canner water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small sauce pan; cover and heat to a low boil. Turn off heat and keep lids in hot water until ready to use.

2. Put measured amount of apple sauce into sauce pan.
3. Add calcium water, lemon juice, and spices, and mix well.
4. Measure sugar or room temperature honey into a bowl. Thoroughly mix pectin powder into sweetener. Set aside.
5. Bring fruit mixture to a full boil. Add pectin-sweetener mixture, stirring vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin while the jam comes back up to a boil. Once the jam returns to a full boil, remove it from the heat.
6. Fill hot jars to ¼” of top. Wipe rims clean. Screw on 2-piece lids. Put filled jars in boiling water to cover. Boil 10 minutes (add 1 minute more for every 1,000 ft. above sea level). Remove from water. Let jars cool. Check seals; lids should be sucked down. Eat within 1 year. Lasts 3 weeks once opened.
Option: Feel free to use whatever spice mix you would normally use to make apple pie. Spices should not exceed 1 teaspoon.
If you leave out all of the spices, you will have plain apple jam, delicious in its own right.

Step 1
Conduct market research to learn if there is demand in your area for a new jam and jelly provider. Consider what sets your products apart from other area offerings.
Step 2
Name your company. Ensure the name reflects your business, as your marketing and advertising will stem from the branding of your company.
Step 3
Register your business. Obtain your business license and tax identification number.
Step 4
Check zoning and food-production laws if operating from home. A home-based operation may save you monthly overhead expenses, but not all home kitchens will be approved for commercial production. If unable to operate from your home kitchen and a commercial kitchen is not within your budget, consider renting a restaurant kitchen when it is not in operation, such as overnight and/or early morning. Another option may be an approved community center kitchen.
Step 5
Contact the Board of Health or comparable government office to obtain necessary permits and licenses to run a food production company.
Step 6
Follow all health codes. The Department of Agriculture regulates most package foods. Basic regulations include Good Manufacturing Practices and Sanitation Standard Operation Procedures.
Step 7
Conduct market testing to learn which flavors are in demand. Perfect your recipes.Step 8
Have your product lab tested to determine shelf life. These components are considered when determining shelf life: chemical, microbiological and sensory (organoleptic) characteristics.
Step 9
Post nutritional information on the product labels as required by the FDA; there are exceptions to this requirement dependent of factors such as the size of the operation. Also include your product name, manufacturer's name and address, product weight and list of ingredients by weight.
Step 10
Price your products at a point that ensures profit. Consider cost of ingredients, supplies, overhead, labor, utilities, packaging, advertising, certifications and taxes.
Step 11
Advertise your jams and jellies. Attend events and schedule meetings so people can try your products. Maximize referrals and word-of-mouth advertising. Use social media such as Twitter to connect with, engage and inform your potential customers. Distribute information about your products.
Step 12
Market to local grocery stores, bakeries, gourmet shops and restaurants. Schedule meetings to meet with the decision makers. Also, sell to individuals at farmers' markets, flea markets and holiday markets as well as online.
Step 13
Keep excellent records for planning and tracking income and expenses, as well for tax purposes.

Things Needed

  • Business license and tax identification number
  • Jam and jelly ingredients
  • Approved kitchen
  • Kitchen equipment


  • Consider using a food co-packer to produce your jams and jellies in their industrial kitchen. This can reduce your steps in the production process and decrease your liability.

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