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Canning -- Jams and Jellies

What is dicalcium phosphate and why is it used to make jelly?

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Dicalcium phosphate is an ingredient in jelling agents that use low methoxyl pectin to form the gel. It supplies calcium that is needed to make crosslinks with the low methoxyl pectin to form the brush heap structure of a pectin gel. The brush heap holds liquid within it that gives the gelled consistency. Dicalcium phosphate may be available at a health or specialty food store. It is difficult to get the compound to go into solution so it can be added to the fruit juice. Refer to jelly, low calorie for some alternatives to using a recipe that calls for low methoxyl pectin and dicalcium phosphate. PREPARED BY: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Food Safety Specialist, and Carolyn J. Lackey, Ph.D., R.D., L.D.N., Professor/Food and Nutrition Specialist, North Carolina State University (August 2004)

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