Jam vs. Jelly – Major Differences

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Alisha John

The major difference between jam and jelly is that jam is made of smashed fruits or fruit pulp, while jelly is made of fruit juice. There is a huge difference in the consistency of both. Both are the type of food that is used as an accompaniment with other food items and are equally popular among people around the world.

Middle Eastern countries start the production of jam and jelly centuries ago. These were the areas where sugarcane grew in abundance. It is believed that returning crusaders introduced jam and jelly in Europe. Pectin material was used to thicken the jam and jelly to maintain its consistency.

Difference in Physical Form

Jelly is firm as compared to jam and can hold its shapes very well, while jam does not hold its shape and also consist of the soft pulp of fruits. Jelly also has a sparkly appearance as it is made using fruit juice.

What is Jam?

Jam vs. Jelly

Jam is usually made from the chopped or crushed chunk of fruits mixed with sugar and cooked until the fruits are released and the consistency of the mixture becomes thickened. Small fruits such as berries and grapes are usually used to make jam; however, large cut-up fruits like apricots, peaches, and plums can also be used to make jam.

How is it Made?

To prepare the jam, small cuts of fruits are mixed with sugar and water and then cooked over a high flame to dry out the water released from the sugar and fruits. Once it reaches the desired consistency, it is ready to be served or stored in the clear jar containers.

How Long does Jam Leave?

Homemade jam can be stored in the refrigerator for up to twenty to thirty days. To increase the shelf life of the jam, you can steam the jar in a hot water jar to prevent the growth of bacteria in the jar. Bacteria can cause a foul smell and change the taste of the jam if stored properly.

Jam Benefits

  • Jam is delicious and a good companion of sweet dishes.
  • It can be used to enhance the taste of deserts.
  • Jam contains fruits and sugars and is good for health if taken in appropriate quantity.
  • It can be stored for up to 15 days.

Jam Drawbacks

  • It contains a lot of sugar and is unhealthy to eat in large quantities.
  • The hot mixture of jam is dangerous to touch and can cause severe burns.
  • It’s a bit difficult to make a jam as it is sticky and has thick inconsistency.

Read More: Braising vs. Roasting – What is the Difference?

What is Jelly?


Jelly is rigid as compared to jam and it is made from the juice of the fruits and gelatin. Jelly is usually sparkly and smooth in appearance. It is difficult to make jelly from fruit pulp as it is difficult to remove the seed from the mixtures.

How is Jelly Made?

Jelly is prepared by combing fruit juice, sugar, and pectin. Then boil it to get the desired consistency. When the mixture starts simmering, shift it into the jar and wait until it cools down.

How Long does Jelly Last?

The shelf life of the jelly depends upon the amount of sugar you add to the mixture and the type of fruit you use. Once the lid of the jar is opened, it can last for up to a month in the refrigerator.

Many packed and processed powdered jelly packets are also available in the market. They also taste good and can be prepared instantly.

Jelly Benefits

  • Jelly is used to decorate the desserts.
  • Jelly is usually bright and sparkly in appearance and can enhance the dish.
  • It can be used to make jelly sandwiches.
  • Not only sweet dishes but jelly can also be used to enhance the taste of savory dishes.
  • gelatin present in the jellies can increase the collagen in the body.

Jelly Drawbacks

  • Gelatin is used to make the thick consistency of jelly.
  • Gelatin is not very good for health and can cause certain damage to the body.
  • It is a bit difficult to handle the jelly mixture as it retains the shape of the jar and becomes thick.

Read More: Fruits vs. Vegetables – What’s the Difference

Comparison Chart Between Jam and Jelly

Basis for comparison Jam Jelly
About Jam is a type of fruit product consisting of sugar and essence of the fruits. Jelly is also a fruit product that consists of gelatin and food color as well.
Ingredients Jam mostly consists of sugar, pectin, mashed pieces of fruits, and the essence of the fruits. It mostly consists of fruit juice, pectin, sugar, and food colors.
Physical appearance It has a gel-like consistency and it cannot restrain its shape in one place. It has a clean and shiny appearance with a bright color and fragrance, and it holds its shape very well.
Example It has a huge variety of flavors, such as orange, strawberry, mango, grapes, apple, and mixed fruit. It does not have a lot of flavors but is available in strawberry, cherry, and mango flavors.
Uses It can be used as a food accompaniment with other dishes. It is used to enhance the beauty and taste of the deserts.
Fruits The fruits are present in mashed form. Very small chunks of food are also present. Fruits are usually present in the form of juice.


Both jam and jelly are equally popular among people, and both are types of food products that are mostly eaten as food accompaniments. They are different from each other in different ways, such as ingredients, appearance, physical form, color, flavors, and the way they are cooked. Jelly is considered to be a type of spread, and it mostly consists of fruit juice mixed with gelatin and pectin to maintain its shape. It mostly consists of a clear, shining liquid. While the jam contains smashed fruits and also has small chunks of fruit in it.


Which one contains more fruit, typically: jam or jelly?

Usually, it is jam because it has crushed pieces while being smoother in texture with jelly.

Is there a difference in nutritional value between jam and jelly?

Comparatively speaking, jelly has more sugar than jam does which may affect overall nutrition.

Can I make my own jam or jelly at home?

Yes, you can easily make both of them using fresh fruits, sugar and pectin.

Do we cook jam and jelly differently?

While making jams involves cooking whole fruits till they break down completely; jellies need straining fruit juice only during preparation process.

How do the textures of these two differ?

Jam is lumpy due to mashed up fruit parts whereas Jelly is smooth and gummy like in consistency.

Do they have any unique health benefits associated with consuming them?

Both of them contain necessary vitamins & antioxidants found in fruits but they should be consumed moderately due to their high sugar content.