Food preservation - canning #331404

Asked June 12, 2016, 12:24 AM EDT

Am I able to make my own syrup for canning fruit using honey or maple syrup instead of sugar? And is the syrup type (i.e. Light, medium, etc) a safety issue or just a taste preference. Would it be safe for me to use the same syrup regardless of the recommendation? Also, in jams or jellies, is it safe to sub honey/maple syrup and use a low sugar pectin for any of jam/jelly recipes?

Washington County Oregon

Expert Response

It is not a safety issue to use honey or maple syrup to sweeten syrup used in canning.  The amount and kind you use is a personal preference.  You can also can your fruits using water or  fruit juices such as white grape, apple, orange or other flavors.  Honey and maple syrup as well as water and the juices will chance the flavor and texture of the fruit so you might want to mix up some syrup and cook a few pieces of fruit in it until tender and then cool and taste.  This will give you a good idea of the flavor and texture of the fruit will be  after canned.  One thing that sugar does that some of the other alternative sweeteners and fruit juice does not, it keeps the fruit firmer and the color lighter.  

As for jam and jellies you can use maple syrup and honey as the sweetener if you use one of the low sugar pectin's.  The amount you use is personal preference.

Good luck and thanks for using Ask an Expert

An Ask Extension Expert Replied June 13, 2016, 2:11 PM EDT

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