Difference Between Jam and Jelly (With Table)

Jam vs Jelly

When we hear the word jam and jelly the first two things that we can visualize are fruit and sugar. It is true that jam and jelly; both basic ingredients are similar but both are processed differently and relished in special ways.

The difference is about the way they look, texture and the proportions of the common ingredients that they both share.

Jam and jelly are created by boiling fruit, sugar, acid or lime to get a uniformed consistency.

The key difference between jam and jelly lies in the fact that in jelly the boiled fructose content is strained to have the extract left of only fruit juice.

Jam maintains the fruit chunks through smashing the end product and doesn’t necessarily strain the end product.


Comparison Table Between Jam and Jelly (in Tabular Form)

Parameters of ComparisonJamJelly
DelicacyUsed as a sweet or dessertUsed for bakery and confectionery
PectinMay or may not be usedCompulsory used
ConsistencyChunky, thick, richTransparent, frosty, gelatin
ComponentsVegetables, Fruit, fruit juice, lime, sugarPectin, gelatin, fruit juice


What is Jam?

Jam is made out of boiling fruit juice, fruit chunks, with sugar. This is the first step for making both, Jam and Jelly. Jams are usually made out of berry fruits that have seeds, chunkiness, and pulps.

Fruits like raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, fig, and mango, cherry are commonly used. You would rarely hear of an orange jam and if you do, you will find contains mango to give that pulpiness.

 Jams are made by boiling the fruit content and stirring it well and also continuously smashing the pulp. Pectin is a byproduct of fruit which is usually found in the walls of a fruit. This is naturally produced while boiling the fruit base.

A commercially made pectin can be used but it is rarely done. Jams are consumed by using on a doughnut, bread, cookies or layering an inch in the cakes.

Jams are flavorful, texture-rich, delicious, sweet and sour and extremely palatable. The sourness is a must and it comes from lime juice.

Bread and Jam ready to be served
Bread and Jam ready to be served

What is Jelly?

Jelly is prepared by boiling fruit juices or fruit syrup with sugar and pectin. Pectin is a carbohydrate that is indigestible in nature. Pectin is a good source of fiber that binds the jelly well.  Fruit chunks also can be used in the jelly but it has to be completed crushed.

To simplify, jelly is made of out fruit contains, sugar and pectin which is kept on the slow burner.  The content of jelly is when it comes to a gel consistency that is strained through a muslin cloth or cheesecloth.

The thin syrup helps in retaining the clear appearance and also holds the jelly in one place. The point to note is pectin is of utmost importance to prepare jam but for jelly, it is not mandatory.

Jelly is usually relished as a dessert and most commercially made through the use of preservatives, gelatin, and pectin.

Ready to eat jelly
Ready to eat jelly

Main Differences Between Jam and Jelly


Jams are used on everything and anything. You can dollop it on ice cream, spread it on a chapatti; add in your home-baked cake. So much more can be done with jam.

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Try making slush or a milkshake as well. Jellies, on the other hand, can be added to custard or consumed as a snack.

Jellies are usually enjoyed by the children, unlike jams which are enjoyed across all age groups.


Pectin is a lump of sugar is that derived from galactose which is a glue-like structure. Pectin is the main acidic ingredient in the formation of galacturonic acid.

This galacturonic acid is very important to retain the sourness of jam and jelly.

Pectin is naturally found in the walls of the fruits or vegetables and aid in the binding if jam and jelly.

But Pectin is also commercially marketed and used. It is widely used in the making of jelly as jelly needs a binding agent. Pectin is a kind of gelatin.

To make it simple pectin is used to thicken the product that is made. Natural pectin is found in berry fruits/


Jams are made out of fruit pulps or chunks boiled with lime, fruit juice, and sugars. Also, jams can be made out of vegetable extracts as well.

Jelly, on the other hand, is strictly made out of fruit juices made in the same procedures of Jam. The acidic content of lime is a very important tool of preservative as well as a taste enhancer.

Texture and Consistency

Jam is made of all the edible parts of a smooth-bodied chunky product. The jelly is made with the only liquid part of the extracts.

The jam is thicker, richer, and uneven and takes a while to spread on bread or chapatti. Jelly just falls like water and spreads by itself.

The texture of jam is like a blob that needs to be scooped and evenly spread onto anything that is to be eaten.

Jams go very well with pastries. Jelly has 90% water and it immediately leaves its water content and by itself merges on whatever edible it is put onto.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Jam and Jelly

  1. Is ketchup a jam?

    No, ketchup can never be a jam as the ingredients are absolutely different in both. Ketchup is made of tomato, and a tomato is a vegetable, not a fruit.

    Jams are made of fruits, which are sweet in taste. Ketchup is totally made from tomato, which is a bit sweet, salty, and sour in taste.
    A jam can never replace ketchup, and if it does, it will not be good. For instance, if you add jam in your pasta, imagine the horrible taste it will give.

    And if you add ketchup on the top of a cake for layering instead of jam, God knows how it will taste.

  2. Why is jam called Jam?

    The word jam was introduced in the 18th century, which meant to squeeze or press something. To prepare jam, the fruits were squeezed for the pulp and, thus, the jam was called jam.

  3. Is jelly full of sugar?

    It will be wrong to say that jelly is full of sugar, but yeah, jelly is high in sugar. Jelly is not entirely made by sugar; there are many more ingredients in the preparation of jelly, such as pectin, water, fruit flavor, acid.

  4. Why do you add lemon juice to jam?

    Lemon juice is added in a jam to set it properly and to prevent bacteria in it. It lowers the pH level and balances those negative charges on pectin.

    It gives a good shape and consistency to the jam, which makes it look attractive.

  5. Do you let jam cool before putting lids on?

    No, jams are cooled with the lid on it and should be tightly sealed. After converting it into a jar, it should be boiled with the lid on it to avoid molds.

    Let it cool before storing in the refrigerator without opening the lid.

  6. Which is a healthier jam or jelly?

    There’s no doubt that both jam and jelly are healthy as both are made of fruit juice. Jelly is made with sweetened fruit juice, which is quite evident in appearance.

    But jam is made with both fruit juice and fruit pieces with less sugar in it. Hence, the jam is healthier than jelly with its fruit consistency and less sugar.

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Both jam and jelly are delicious at the own right and merit. Both are a sweet delight mixture. Jelly is more clear and with reduced consistency of jam without the fruit pulp.

The jelly extract is totally pureed. Jams are less jelled than jellies and retain their berries seeds. There are no strict rules that jelly cannot be used on bread or jams cannot be used on ice creams.

Both conserve and preserve fruit extracts that in turn are the best go-to for sugar cravings.  Both jams and jelly have a longer shelf life. If kept in refrigerators both can celebrate next New Year eve with you as well.


Word Cloud for Difference Between Jam and Jelly

The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Jam and Jelly. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.

Jam and Jelly
Word Cloud for Jam and Jelly



  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fruit_preserves
  2. https://www.healthbenefitstimes.com/fruit-jam/