Jams and confitures
Jam and confiture are both sweet spreads made from fruits and sugar, but there are some differences between them in terms of the fruit content and the texture.
Jam is made from whole fruits or pieces of fruits that are cooked with sugar until they break down and form a smooth, thick mixture. Jam typically contains around 45% to 55% fruit and has a spreadable, gel-like texture.
Confiture, on the other hand, is a type of jam that is made with large chunks of fruit or whole fruits that are cooked with sugar. Confiture typically contains a higher percentage of fruit than jam, usually around 55% to 65%. Because of the larger fruit pieces, confiture has a chunky, textured consistency that is different from the smooth texture of jam.
In addition to the differences in fruit content and texture, jam and confiture may also differ in the type of fruits used and the specific recipe used to make them. Some types of fruits, such as berries and stone fruits, are more commonly used for making jams, while other types of fruits, such as figs and citrus fruits, are more commonly used for making confiture.
Overall, while both jam and confiture are sweet spreads made from fruits and sugar, their differences in fruit content and texture give them distinct characteristics and flavors.
Producing jams and confitures on an industrial scale involves a different process than making them at home. The process is more complex and involves specialized equipment to handle large volumes of fruits and sugar. The process of jams and confitures can be divided into several steps:
Step 1: Choosing the Fruits The first step in producing jams and confitures is to choose the fruits. The fruits are usually sourced from farms and orchards. The fruits are selected based on their quality, ripeness, and sugar content. The fruits are then transported to the processing plant where they are cleaned and sorted.
Step 2: Preparing the Fruits Once the fruits have been sorted, they are prepared for processing. This involves washing and removing any stems, pits, or seeds. The fruits are then crushed or chopped into small pieces using specialized equipment such as a fruit crusher or chopper.
Step 3: Cooking the Fruits After the fruits have been prepared, they are cooked in large stainless steel kettles. Sugar and pectin are added to the mixture to help it set. The mixture is heated to a high temperature, usually between 104°C and 105°C, and is then allowed to simmer for a certain amount of time depending on the recipe.
Step 4: Testing for Doneness To ensure that the jam or confiture is ready, a sample is taken from the kettle and tested for doneness using a refractometer. The refractometer measures the sugar content of the mixture, and when it reaches a certain level, the jam or confiture is considered done.
Step 5: Filling and Packaging Once the jam or confiture is done, it is pumped into filling machines that fill jars or other containers. The containers are then sealed and labeled. The filled jars are then transported to a pasteurization machine where they are heated to a high temperature for a certain amount of time to kill any bacteria and ensure that the product is shelf-stable.
Step 6: Quality Control Quality control is an important part of the production process. Samples of the finished product are taken and tested for sugar content, acidity, and other factors to ensure that the product meets the required standards.
For producing jams and confitures, the following equipment may be necessary:
- Large, commercial-grade cooking kettles or steam jacketed kettles
- Automated stirring systems, such as agitators or mixers
- Industrial-grade candy thermometers or temperature sensors for monitoring temperature
- Automated filling and packaging machines, such as pumps or piston fillers, to fill and seal the jars
- Conveyor belts or other automated systems for transporting the jars
- Labeling machines for labeling the jars
- Large-scale storage and cooling equipment for storing and cooling the finished product
- Industrial-grade cleaning equipment, such as high-pressure washers or steam cleaners, for sanitizing the equipment and work area.