Jam vs Jelly: Difference and Comparison

When we hear the word jam and jelly, the first two things that we can visualize are fruit and sugar. Jam and jelly, both essential ingredients, are indeed similar, but both are processed differently and relished in extraordinary ways.

The difference is about how they look, their texture and the proportions of the common ingredients they share. Bland fruit, sugar, acid or lime creates jam and jelly to get a uniform consistency.

Key Takeaways

  1. Jam is made from crushed or chopped fruits, while jelly is made from fruit juice.
  2. Jam contains fruit pulp and is thicker and less transparent than jelly, which is clear and smooth.
  3. Jam is more versatile and can be used in various recipes, while jelly is mainly used as a spread for bread or toast.

Jam vs Jelly

Jelly refers to a type of clear fruit spread consisting of firmed fruits or vegetable juice and it is smooth in texture. Jam is a type of fruit spread consisting of whole/crushed fruits chunks, and pieces.

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Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonJamJelly
DelicacyUsed as a sweet or dessertUsed for bakery and confectionery
PectinIt may 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 and fruit chunks with sugar. This is the first step for making both, Jam and Jelly.


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Jams are made of berry fruits with seeds, chunkiness, and pulps.

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

 Jams are made by boiling the fruit content, stirring it well, and continuously smashing the pulp. Pectin is a byproduct of fruit, found in a fruit’s walls.

This is naturally produced while boiling the fruit base.

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

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

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What is Jelly?

Jelly is prepared by boiling fruit juices or syrup with sugar and pectin. Pectin is a carbohydrate that is indigestible.

Pectin is a good source of fibre that binds the jelly well.  Fruit chunks also can be used in the jelly, but it has to be completely crushed.

To simplify, jelly is made of fruit containing 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 retain the transparent appearance and 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 relished as a dessert and is most commercially made using preservatives, gelatin, and pectin.

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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, and add it to your home-baked cake.

So much more can be done with jam.

Try making slush or a milkshake as well. On the other hand, Jellies can be added to custard or consumed as a snack. Children enjoy jellies, unlike jams, which are enjoyed across all age groups.


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

This galacturonic acid is essential to retain the sourness of jam and jelly. Pectin is naturally found in the walls of fruits or vegetables and aid in binding jam and jelly.

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

Pectin is a kind of gelatin. To make it simple, pectin is used to thicken the product. Natural pectin is found in berry fruits/


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

On the other hand, Jelly is strictly made out of fruit juices in the same procedures as Jam. The acidic content of lime is an essential tool of preservative and 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 only the liquid part of the extracts.

The jam is thicker, more prosperous, uneven, and takes a while to spread on bread or chapatti. Jelly 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 to be eaten.

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

Difference Between Jam and Jelly
  1. https://www.healthbenefitstimes.com/fruit-jam/
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