Big Changes for Barker’s jams – FAQs

Sugar is an important issue and many of our customers have asked whether we could make a jam with less sugar.

After listening and tinkering in our farm kitchen we have changed our jam recipe which now boasts more fruit and less sugar.

We know you’ll have lots of questions so we’ve tried to answer them for you here:

Why change your long standing jam recipe?

Internationally, both food producers and food regulators have been responding to consumer preference for less sugar. This trend is as applicable to jam as to any other food category. We have explored consumers’ perceptions and preferences and gained valuable insights about preferred fruit and sugar content of jam.

What’s different about the new recipe?

There is more fruit and less sugar. We have increased the amount of fruit and to offset this we reduced the added sugar. This preserve is a step toward the future for jam; fresher, fruitier and tastier than our old recipe. Exactly what have we done? We have moved from a traditional 65% sugar jam with 40% fruit to a 54% sugar fruit preserve with 48% fruit. That’s 20% more fruit and 17% less sugar!

How does the maths work?

65 (% sugar in our old recipe) – 54 (% sugar in our new recipe) = 11
11/65 = 17% less sugar than our old recipe

Will I notice a taste in the difference?

Hopefully you will. We think our new recipe tastes fruitier and better than our old recipe and this is the feedback we also got from many consumers whom we spoke to during the development and research phase of the project.

Why is it called a fruit preserve and not a jam?

To be legally called a jam in New Zealand and Australia, a product must contain 65% sugar! Any product with less sugar needs to be called a different name. There is no legal definition for a ‘spread’ or ‘preserve’. We have therefore chosen to call our new recipe with less sugar a ‘fruit preserve’…it’s jam in all but name.

Is this change in line with other countries?

In France the minimum sugar content for jam is now 50%, in Germany it was reduced 6 years ago from 60% to 56%, and the conservative Brits reduced their sugar requirement from 60% to 50% just last year. This suggests that the local regulations are not keeping abreast of consumer trends, because our delicious new jams cannot be called jam!

Will the fruit preserve look and spread like the old jam?

You might notice that the texture is slightly different. Because we’ve taken out some sugar and cooked the jam for longer, the fruit has softened and the jam is nicely spreadable, without being tacky and sticky like the old recipe.

Is there the same amount of product in the jar?

We have used the same jar and we fill it to the same level so the volume stays the same although the actual weight is slightly lower as fruit weighs less than sugar. The new weight is 350g and you should get the same amount of spread on your toast as you have in the past.

Is it made with real fruit?

Yes. Nothing has changed. We still support local growers and use real fruit for our fruit preserves. For our new Bramble Berry Fruit Preserve we use blackberry and boysenberry purees rather than whole fruit, to ensure that our preserve is seedless to satisfy requests from so many of our customers. Also, to avoid cells and pips in our Lemon Curd we use real lemon juice (and not the full pulp of the lemon), which results in a creamy, smooth curd.

How long will the fruit preserve last for?

We don’t add preservative to our fruit preserve but as long as you refrigerate after opening and use a clean utensil to prevent spoilage, there’s no reason why our preserve won’t last you its full shelf life (18 months). You’ll eat it before you have a problem!

Have you reduced the sugar in your whole jam, curds and marmalade range?

We have more fruit and less sugar in all our jams and curds. We haven’t changed our marmalade recipes…yet. If we get feedback that our customers would also like less sugar in our marmalades, then we will definitely revisit this. The peel in the marmalade adds a slight bitterness which may require a slightly different sugar ratio. We are reviewing our chutneys and we already offer a handful of Lite flavours (with less sugar and sweetened with natural sweetener stevia) in our syrups range which are widely available in supermarkets now.

I often use your jam for baking. Can I bake with your new fruit preserve?

Yes! We have tested many baking recipes that originally called for our old jam and we replaced the jam with our new fruit preserve. The recipes look and taste the same…but we welcome your feedback on this.

Does the new fruit preserve range have all the same flavours?

No. We have two new flavours:

Where does your fruit come from?

We prefer to use New Zealand fruit and support local growers wherever possible. Sometimes New Zealand doesn’t grow the fruits we need or doesn’t grow a commercial quantity of the fruit we use, so in these instances we choose to import quality fruit from reputable suppliers from around the world.

Is your fruit preserve gluten free?

Yes. Just like our old jam recipe, our fruit preserve is naturally gluten free.

Is your preserve preservative free?

These new recipes are cooked hotter for longer so we don’t have to use preservative.

Is your fruit preserve more expensive?

No. Our price is unchanged.

If you have any further queries please contact us via email: fruit@barkers.co.nz

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