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What's the difference between jams, jellies, preserves, and marmalades?

by Suresh, 13 Dec 2023

The primary distinction between jelly, jam, and marmalade is that jelly is a clear fruit spread created from firmed fruit or vegetable juice, whereas jam is a fruit spread that incorporates crushed fruits chopped into bits. On the other hand, marmalade is a food spread that is often created by boiling citrus fruit peel and extract with sugar and water.

The fruit preserves we most usually eat as a side dish with a variety of foods, like bread and baked goods, include jam, jelly, and marmalade. Jelly, jam, and marmalade, however, have different ingredients, textures, and methods of preparation than one another.

What is Jelly

Typically produced with fruit juice or a liquid extract of various fruits and vegetables, jelly is a type of fruit spread. Typically, jelly is translucent. Using a material like pectin or gelatin, the jelly-making process involves sweetening, boiling, simmering, and congealing the fruit or vegetable extract.

The majority of fruits, vegetables, and berries have liquids that are rich in pectin. For example, to speed up the gelling process, blueberries, mint, and green peppers are combined with low-pectin fruit, vegetable, herb, or berry extracts after apples and citrus fruits have been boiled in a sugar solution. Due to the inclusion of fruit pulp or the whole fruit, other fruit preserves like jams and marmalades distinguish out from jellies.

What is Jam

Fruit or vegetable pulp is diced or mashed when making jam, a type of fruit preserve. The pulp of a chosen fruit or vegetable is often boiled in a sugar solution by manufacturers. The type of fruit or vegetable used, and perhaps most importantly, the degree of ripeness and natural sweetness of the fruit or vegetable chosen, can affect the amount of sugar that needs to be added as well as the proportion of fruit or vegetable utilised.

Manufacturers allow the temperature of the fruit pulp that has been dissolved in the sugar solution to reach 104 °C when creating jam. Fruit acid and fruit pectin begin to interact with sugar at this temperature. The jam might set while cooling as a result of this procedure.

Although jelly is made with fruit juice that has been drained, jam contains fruit pulp. Jam typically loses its shape and location because of its consistency, which is very different from that of jelly. In a nutshell, jam is a dull substance that resembles a soft pulp. It carries the fruit pulp's dark colour. The most popular jam flavours include mixed fruit, strawberry, mango, and orange.

What is Marmalade

Manufacturers use citrus fruit peel and extract to create the well-known fruit preserve known as marmalade. These items are cooked in a sugar solution. The local supermarket carries the most well-liked types of marmalade made from bitter oranges, limes, mandarins, lemons, sweet oranges, grapefruits, and bergamot.

Like jams and jellies, marmalade is a common addition to toast for breakfast. The robust orange flavour profile of marmalade has also made it a popular addition in several baked goods. Despite the market's abundance of contemporary fruit marmalades, traditional marmalade is still made using bitter oranges because they have a higher pectin profile than other citrus fruits. This fruit preserve can be set firmly thanks to its high pectin content.

Similarities Between Jelly Jam and Marmalade

•    We enjoy using jelly, jam, and marmalade as fruit spreads on a range of foods, including bread and other baked goods.
•    Marmalades, jams, and jellies all have a sticky texture.
•    They're all fruit spreads that are sweet and have the same components: fruit, water, sugar, pectin, and fruit acids.

Difference Between Jelly Jam and Marmalade


Jelly is a clear fruit spread prepared from firmed fruit or vegetable juice, whereas jam is a fruit spread comprised of chopped, crushed fruits. Contrarily, marmalade is typically created from citrus fruits and their peel, which are then simmered in water and sugar.


Fruit pulp is used to make jam, fruit or vegetable extract is used to make jelly, and citrus fruit peel and extract are combined to make marmalade.


Jelly has a thicker consistency than jam and marmalade in terms of texture.


In a nutshell, the fundamental distinction between jelly jam and marmalade is in the components: jam comprises mashed or diced fruit or vegetable pulp, jelly has strained fruit or vegetable juice, and marmalade contains both citrus fruit juice and peel.