Low Sugar Pectin

For the diabetic, or those who are at risk of becoming diabetic—there is a commercially available pectin that does not require sugar to jell, rather it is activated by monocalcium, which is a rock mineral calcium source. Monocalcium is also a yeast nutrient for baking, in baking powder as an acidulant (for adding the necessary acidic quality) and also a mineral supplement, which is perfectly safe for human consumption.

Made in Denmark, this product is extracted from the peelings of citrus fruits, like limes, lemons, and oranges. The process by which this type of pectin is extracted is quite complex, yet the product is still economical, as it will outlast most other commercially available pectin’s. It is said to last indefinitely, while most pectin products will lose their potency within a year.

After the juices and oils have been extracted from the citrus fruit peelings, the pectin is extracted using hot, acidified water and then, using alcohol is precipitated out of the solution. This type of pectin is considered to be ’low-methoxyl pectin.’ (The average store-bought pectin is a ‘high-methoxyl’ product that requires at least a 55% sugar concentration to gel properly.) Because of the de-estrification process (which changes the pectin from high to low methoxyl) this type of pectin is calcium sensitive, it will gel without the use of sugar, although the addition of sugar will not affect the gelling process. Along with sugar, Splenda can also be used with this low-methoxyl pectin.

Low-methoxyl pectin is commonly used in a large number of sugar-free products such as: aspic, jams, yogurts, aspic, jelled pies, jelled milk puddings and candies, and jello. It will also gel fresh, canned, or frozen fruits and juices.

This pectin usually sells for about six dollars for a one ounce box, but for the real jelly makers, can be purchased by the half pound and the pound, generally from your local health food store.