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Mar 27, 2007 08:17 AM

jam or jelly - no added sugar?

i only buy jelly every few months or so, so maybe the product is discontinued... but i was at the store looking for simply fruit jam/jelly. i remember it said no added sugar on the jar. i couldn't find it, and when i was looking for a substitute every jelly had high fructose corn syrup in it. the ones with no added sugar had splenda, and i don't want that either! i just want fruit. any thoughts?

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  1. Head to your nearest health/natural food store. They should have some jam sweetened only with fruit juice.

    There are also a few really good brands out there which use pure cane sugar, in case your objection is to HFCS rather than to sugar itself.

    1. We have Polaner All fruit strawberry at home. I have not tried it, but the kids like it. I looked up the ingredients:

      JuiceConcentrate (pear/grape), strawberries, fruit pectin, natural flavor and citric acid. There is also a note that the sugars are from the fruit and fruit juice concentrate.

      Not sure if this is what you are looking for.

      4 Replies
      1. re: macca

        I just opened a jar of poloner seedless blackberry fruit spread and it's pretty bland and tasteless. I expected MORE fruit flavour from it than regular jam, but it had less... very disappointing.
        If you just want jam with no cornsyrup, look for European varieties. The Smuckers 'organic' line doesn't have cornsyrup either, because (thank goodness) corn syrup is not an organic product.

        1. re: Kajikit

          This is not the fruit spread, it is labelled all fruit. The fruit spread has both corn syrup and HFCS- the all fruit has only fruit and fruit juices. Now I am gooing to have to go home and try the strawberry all fruit and see what it is like!

          1. re: macca

            This blackberry one IS the 'All Fruit'. Ingredients Pear/grape juice concentrate, blackberries, petin, citric acid and natural flavour... They used too much sweetener for my taste and it had no berry 'tang' at all.

            1. re: Kajikit

              Well- I gave the strawberry a taste test. It was good- sweet, and tasted like strawberries. I am not a good taster for jelly, however, as I prefer marmalade to jelly or jam. But, as I said earlier, the kid slike it, and it is less "processed" than a lot of the jellies in the supermarket.

      2. This "no sugar added" is a kind of truthful lie.

        There may be "no sugar added" in the strict sense of "no cane sugar added", but preserves always require *some* sort of (natural) sweetener to jell. In this case the sweetener is the juices that are added, or the corn syrup.

        As a more general matter, I think it's a good idea to stay away from any product that's been "fiddled with", e.g. had the fat removed, the sugar, etc. The vendor almost always must either tell a lie, usually by omission, or make up for what's missing by adding something that's not so great for you!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Howard_2

          When I look for "no sugar added" type of products, I always check the ingredients for corn syrup or HFCS -- since that's typically what's used as "sugar" these days.

          That said, in addition to the tips you're getting here, I find that the national grocery chains (Kroger, Safeway, Whole Foods, etc.) all have house-label preserves that are just fruit -- no corn syrup or cane sugar added. To me, these taste as good as the national brands, and tend to be somewhat less expensive.

        2. Smucker's "Simply Fruit" line of preserves have no added cane sugar or HFCS. I thought it was all natural, but I double-checked a few jars that I have in my pantry to make sure.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Kelli2006

            yeah that is the kind i was looking for but it wasn't at the store! =(

            1. re: abbefaith

              The "Simply Fruit" line is available at


          2. I think "no added sugar" are some of those "weasel words" that food maufacturers use to lead us down the garden path. Maybe some of the CH food science types will weigh in here.

            A certain amount of sugar has to be added to fruit juices used in jelly to make it jell and to prevent spoilage and fermentation. Just science. Flip through jelly recipes in coobooks or on-line. You can use products like Sure-Jell but I think even then you have to use sugar. The times I've tried to cut back, the jelly was runny.
            It's possible to make freezer preserves and jams without adding sugar but not shelf-stable types. They mold without the sugar to act as a preservative.
            I guess we have all come to think of sugar, salt and fat as Devil's poisons and forget their place as useful preservatives.

            If you want low or no-sugar jam, try making your own in small batches. It's very easy when you can get fresh organic or locally grown fruit at the farmers' market. No special equipment is required and you can store one or two pints in the freezer. The price would probably be comparable or less than what you would find in the store.