Picking The Right Pectin

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The Struggle:

Pectin seems to be an ingredient that goes by many names. While it’s all pectin at the end of the day there are a few key differences that set them apart from each other. Unfortunately when buying pectin from the grocery store they don’t give you all the little details. Does this pectin work with sugar and acidity or is it better in low sugar situations? Is it Rapid Set or Slow Set? Does it require calcium for gelling? And most importantly of all does it go by any other names? Often we get asked what the equivalent of apple pectin or yellow pectin is. This is information that is useful to people and we feel we should share it to make your life easier when choosing a pectin.


“What pectin is Apple Pectin, Yellow Pectin, and Fruit Pectin?” 


Defining Pectin Brand Names 


Recipes across the world will call for pectin, commonly they will ask for apple pectin, yellow pectin, and fruit pectin. This gets confusing when you try to switch pectin types or say you purchase a new brand. Can you substitute apple pectin for yellow or fruit pectin? Will my recipe work the same way or will I end up wasting money? Well I’m here to help you understand what all these different types of pectin do. 


First I’ll make this easy for everyone, come in close I’ll whisper the secret in your ear… They do the same thing! Yellow, apple, and fruit pectin are all HM pectin. HM pectin comes in two forms: rapid set and slow set. For everyday home use Rapid Set HM pectin is what you want. It can stand in for any of the three aforementioned pectins. But let’s say you make some baller jellies or jams and you need to start producing them commercially, then you would need to use Slow set HM pectin. Slow set is just as it says, it takes longer to set. This buys you time from the finishing of the jelly or jam to filling that final jar. If your recipe calls for one of these types of pectin, that recipe will contain sugar and acid. HM pectin requires both sugar and acid to gel. Now there may be some of you out there saying “Wait, I make sugar free jams!”. If you make sugar free jams you may use something called universal pectin. This pectin is an LM pectin, LM pectin needs calcium in order to gel. This is why it works well in low sugar jams. We carry 3 types of LM pectin. Traditional LM pectin, Amidated LM pectin, and pectin NH. The difference between amidated and regular LM pectin is amidated pectin can gel with a lower amount of calcium. As low as 10mg of calcium can be used to gel 1 gram of pectin. As we stated LM pectin requires calcium to gel, and Pectin NH contains the calcium needed to create a gel. So whatever the type of pectin you are using can easily be deciphered by the method of the recipe. If there is sugar and acidity in the recipe then use HM pectin. If you are making sugar free jam, use LM pectin or pectin NH. Whatever jelly or jam recipe you are making you can now easily figure out what ingredient to use and forget about having to decide what ingredient will work for you.



  • Vivian Scott
    March 20, 2020 1:40 pm

    I purchased rapid set HM pectin. I make small batch jams and jelly for my side business. I have been using bulk pectin, same as the boxes you buy at the grocery. Most of my recipes call for 3 to 6 cups of sugar, and I put a quarter cup lemon juice in all of them. With my current pectin, some set more quickly than others. How much of this package of pectin should be used for small batch jams? There are no directions.

  • I like low sugar fruit gelée for my macarons, which pectin shall I use and is there a recipe for mint gelée that is pipe-able?

    August 11, 2020 8:52 am

    How much HM Slow Set should be used for high acid fruit jams? What pectin should be used for hot pepper jams (lots of sugar + vinegar)?

    • Slow set pectin should be used in the same ratio as rapid set, it will also depend on how firm you want the jam to be. As for the high sugar and high acid pepper jelly, you’ll need rapid set for that.

  • Tina Belderbos
    August 19, 2020 6:11 am

    Should I use Certo pectin or Certo pectin with apple extract when making freezer raspberry jam?

  • Jason Vasquez
    August 23, 2020 1:20 pm

    I just started trying to make jams. I used surejell last time and my guava jam really never set. It was like a apple butter consistency and I used sugar and some lemon juice. What did I do wrong?

  • Margaret Johnson
    August 26, 2020 7:24 pm

    Im so confused. Im making marionberry jam with low sugar. I bought you low Methoxyl pectin. Do I now need to buy calcium? which of the two less salty calciums should I use? I can’t find any blackberry jam recipes on your site even though you sell pectin. It would be helpful to have a low sugar Recipe for blackberry jam. Thank you

  • What is the best type of pectin for lemon jam ?
    Which will be high acidity and high or medium suger?

    • The best Pectin for a high sugar and high acidity jam is a HM pectin. We have two types of HM pectin, a rapid set (small batches) and a slow set (large batches). The slow set is better for commercial applications.

  • Thank you. Finally, a website that clearly and fully explains about pectin. I have just one question please. I have a recipe that calls for Extra Slow Set Pectin. Would you know what this is?

  • I made a raspberry filling (for tarts) and followed the recipe exactly except I used fruit pectin instead of the apple pectin called for. The finished product was more like a purée and not the thickness required for filling tarts and baking. Was the inconsistency due to substituting fruit pectin for apple pectin?

    • That should not be the issue if you subbed in rapid set HM pectin for the apple pectin since they’re the same thing, just from different sources. If you used slow set on a small batch that would be the problem. The main thing is that you’re using a different brand and each brand will have some variation in the gel strength/viscosity of the pectins. So switching brands will mean having to adjust your ratio to compensate and in your case adding some more pectin in.

  • Thank you, this is very helpful! I’m trying to make French/Belgium style pate de fruits, I read in different websites ONLY yellow pectin would give the pate de fruit texture and not a gummy bear texture. Is that true? I would like to make the pate de fruit texture, should I use Rapid set HM pectin? Thank you in advance!

    • Yes, check out our recipe for Fruity Pectin Candies that have the texture of Pate de Fruit.

      • Thank you so much! I’ll be buying the rapid set HM pectin in loads!? You have been super helpful! And the RS HM pectin is a lot cheaper than the yellow pectin! Yeah~? Thank you again!

  • Which HM pectin gel is thermo-irreversible and can withstand the heat (>165F or 73.9C) without melting, the rapid set or slow set?
    Also, do you have a low methoxyl pectin version that can withstand the heat without melting as well? Thanks.

    • Both HM pectins (rapid set and slow set) are thermo-irreversible. Also we do not have an LM pectin that is thermo-irreversible but they both can withstand some heat before melting.

  • Can I use NH pectin for strawberry freezer jam?

    • Cole Whitney
      June 17, 2021 4:32 pm

      If you are trying to make a low sugar freezer jam, NH pectin is the correct ingredient to use. If you are making a traditional freezer jam with sugar, you can use HM pectin.

  • Can NH pectin be used for preserves? My ratios for non citrus fruits are a kilo of fruit to 800 grams sugar and 40 grams of lemon juice (4% of the fruit weight). I tend to use low pectin fruits: apricots, cherries, figs, pears.
    How much NH pectin would you recommend for a kilo of low pectin fruit?
    I’m looking for a soft set.

    • Cole Whitney
      June 28, 2021 9:16 am

      For your recipe containing 1KG of fruit, a good starting point you can use is 15g of NH pectin.

  • What pectin should I use for making tea jelly?

  • I am following a recipe for bonbons that includes a raspberry jelly layer. The recipe calls for 250 grams raspberry puree (either purchased or made with fresh raspberries and 10% simple syrup), 25 grams of granulated sugar, and 2.5 grams pectin NH. Bring the raspberry puree to a boil. In a separate dish, add the pectin NH to the sugar and mix well until well combined.
    Slowly dd the sugar/pectin NH mix to boiling puree, whisking continuously until combined. Boil for a couple of minutes. Pour into molds. My question is why NH. I thought it was for low sugar recipes. I’m trying to under the science here.

    • Compared to a regular jelly recipe, this is a small amount of sugar. If you were to use an HM pectin there would not enough dissolvable solids to set the jelly correctly. In this case NH pectin works great because it works with low sugar amounts and already contains calcium to help set the jelly.

  • What is the actual percentage of methoxyl in a “low methoxyl” product?

    Is there a documented minimum and maximum pH for use of both high and low methoxyl pectin?

  • If I wanted to make a bakeproof raspberry jam, one that wouldn’t boil out in the oven during baking, would I need to add alginate to a jam containing pectin?
    If so, how much alginate? Would I also need to add calcium to the formula or is there a sufficient amount in raspberries?

    • For a bake proof jam I would suggest using an HM pectin as it is thermo-irreversible and will not melt during the cooking process.

      • Just use HM pectin???? Interesting…

        So alginate isn’t necessary or would its use just be overkill? I ask because I’m a BIG FAN of the flavor and texture of the bakeproof jams made by Puratos. I’m hoping to recreate it, if possible.

  • What about a medium-low sugar, high acid gummy? Would be using a fruit puree (like strawberry), plus extra citric acid for a more sour taste. I’m not sure if the strawberry itself is too high acid for the HM pectin?

    • Scott Guerin
      March 30, 2022 4:28 pm

      HM pectin works well with acid, in fact it needs it to gel. The medium-low sugar is what makes it difficult. We have never attempted a high acidity/ low sugar recipe with any of our pectins.

  • Krysta Glovasky-Ridsdale
    April 13, 2022 11:27 am

    For gluten free bread baking, one of the flour mixes contains pectin. A recipe for the “mock” mix says that they use “Pomona” universal pectin. Which product would be similar to that?

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