Food (Standards & Composition)

Jam and similar products

Pixel

In the guide

The rules for the labelling and composition of jam, marmalade, mincemeat and other similar products

This guidance is for Wales

The labelling and composition of jam and similar products is controlled by legislation. Jam, marmalade and certain other names are regulated product names that can only be used to describe a product if it meets the compositional requirements of the Jam and Similar Products (Wales) Regulations 2018. 

There are general labelling requirements for these products as well as requirements for specific labelling stating the fruit and sugar content.

This guidance relates to the labelling of prepacked products. 

Regulated products

The legislation specifies the names of a number of 'regulated products'. 

A regulated product is one that follows a set of compositional requirements (which ingredients must be in the product and how much of them) that must be met for the product to be described using the regulated product name - for example, 'jam'. 

If the product cannot meet the compositional requirements of the regulated product name then you cannot use it to describe the product.  

If the product has been manufactured in compliance with a regulated product name then you must use it.    

The regulated product name is the name of the product. You may choose to give the Welsh version of the regulated product name in addition to the English version - for example, Seville orange marmalade (marmalêd)

Compositional requirements

The following are regulated product names, each of which have compositional requirements.  

Jam (jam)

Jam is a gelled mixture of sugar, water and fruit (from pulp, puree or both). It must contain the following amounts of fruit per kilogram of finished product:

  • 250g - redcurrants, rowanberries, sea buckthorns, blackcurrants, rosehips, quinces
  • 150g - ginger
  • 160g - cashew apples
  • 60g - passion fruit
  • 350g - any other fruit

In all cases, where the product contains multiple types of fruit you should use the combined weight of fruit.  

Marmalade (marmalêd)

Marmalade is a gelled mixture of sugar, water and citrus fruit pulp, purée, juice, peel or aqueous extract (water in which all the soluble elements of the fruit have been dissolved) in any combination. 

Marmalade must contain not less than 200g of citrus fruit per kilogram of the finished product; at least 75g of this must come from the 'endocarp' (in citrus fruits this is the main part of the fruit, the part that is usually eaten). Marmalade can only be made from citrus fruits.

Jelly marmalade (marmalêd jeli)

The compositional requirements are the same as marmalade, but jelly marmalade contains no insoluble matter (nothing that won't dissolve), except possibly for small quantities of finely sliced peel.

Jelly (jeli)

Jelly is a gelled mixture of sugar and fruit juice, aqueous extract of fruit or both, it must contain the following amounts of fruit per kilogram of finished product:

  • 250g - redcurrants, rowanberries, sea buckthorns, blackcurrants, rosehips, quinces
  • 150g - ginger
  • 160g - cashew apples
  • 60g - passion fruit
  • 350g - any other fruit

The weight of fruit should be calculated after subtracting the weight of water used in the aqueous extract.  

Extra jam (jam ecstra):

  • 350g - redcurrants, rowanberries, sea buckthorns, blackcurrants, rosehips, quinces
  • 250g - ginger
  • 230g - cashew apples
  • 80g - passion fruit
  • 450g - any other fruit

Extra jelly (jeli ecstra):

  • 350g - redcurrants, rowanberries, sea buckthorns, blackcurrants, rosehips, quinces
  • 250g - ginger
  • 230g - cashew apples
  • 80g - passion fruit
  • 450g - any other fruit

The following fruits can be used in the manufacture of extra jam and extra jelly but cannot be mixed with other fruits:

  • apples
  • pears
  • clingstone plums
  • melons
  • watermelons
  • grapes
  • pumpkins
  • cucumbers
  • tomatoes

Sweetened chestnut puree (piwrî castan a felyswyd)

Sweetened chestnut puree is a combination of sugar, water and pureed chestnuts; the quantity of chestnut used per kilogram of finished product must not be less than 380g.

The products above must have a soluble solids (solids that can be dissolved in the product) content of the finished product of not less than 60%, as determined by a refractometer at 20°C (a refractometer is a piece of equipment on to which a small quantity of jam is smeared so the sugar content can be measured) unless some or all of the sugar content has been replaced with sweeteners or a reduced sugar claim is being made in which case there is no set percentage of soluble solids.  

X curd (ceuled X)

A curd is an emulsion (a mix of two liquids that do not dissolve) of edible fat and/or oil, sugar, whole egg and/or egg yolk, and any combination of fruit, fruit pulp, fruit purée, fruit juice, aqueous extract of fruit or essential oils of fruit, with or without other edible ingredients. In the description, X is the name of the fruit (or fruits) used to make the curd. 

  • the quantity of fat and oil used for every kilogram of the finished product must be not less than 40g
  • the quantity of whole and egg yolk used for every kilogram of finished product must be not less than 6.5g of egg yolk solids
  • the quantity of fruit, fruit pulp, fruit puree, fruit juice, aqueous extract of fruit and essential oil of fruit must be sufficient to characterise the finished product

Curds can additionally contain any other edible ingredients but no artificial flavourings can be used to give curd the flavour or smell of fruit.  

Y flavour curd (ceuled blas Y)

A flavour curd is the same as a curd but the fruit has been replaced with fruit flavouring. In the description, Y is the name of the flavouring.

  • the quantity of fat and oil used for every kilogram of the finished product must be not less than 40g
  • the quantity of whole and egg yolk used for every kilogram of finished product must be not less than 6.5g of egg yolk solids
  • the quantity of flavouring material used must be sufficient to characterise the product

Mincemeat (briwfwyd)

Mincemeat is a mixture of sweetening agents, vine fruits (currants, muscatels, raisins or sultanas or a mixture of them), citrus peel, suet or equivalent fat and vinegar or acetic acid, with or without other edible ingredients.  

  • the quantity of vine fruits and citrus peel used for every kilogram of finished product must not be less than 300g, of which not less than 200g consists of vine fruits
  • the quantity of suet or equivalent fat used for every kilogram of the finished product is not less than 25g

Curds, flavour curds and mincemeats are required to have a soluble solids content of 65% or more, as determined by a refractometer at 20°C. If some or all of the sugar content has been replaced with sweeteners or a reduced sugar claim is being made there is no set percentage of soluble solids.

Additional ingredients

If you want to describe your product using any of the regulated product names above then you can only use the additional ingredients in the list below. You can still manufacture products using ingredients that are not on the list but you would not be able to describe them as jam, marmalade etc; you would instead need to use descriptions such as 'preserve' or 'conserve'. 

The following additional ingredients can be added to any product:

  • liquid pectin
  • spirits, wine and liqueur wine, nuts, aromatic herbs, spices, vanilla and vanilla extracts
  • vanillin
  • honey (as a total or partial substitute for sugar)
  • edible oils and fats as anti-foaming agents
  • permitted additives

A list of permitted food additives can be found on the Food Standards Agency (FSA) website.

Other additional ingredients can be used but only in certain products; please refer to the table below (* denotes that the ingredient can be used):

Ingredient Jam Extra jam Jelly Extra jelly Marmalade Curds and flavour curds Mincemeat
citrus fruit juice (in a product obtained from other kinds of fruit) * * * *      
red fruit juice, in a product manufactured from any of the following fruits: rosehips, strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, redcurrants, plums, rhubarb * * * but not rosehips or rhubarb        
red beetroot juice, in a product manufactured from any of the following fruits: strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, redcurrants, plums *            
other fruit juice *            
citrus peel * * * *      
leaves of Pelargonium odoratissimum (apple geranium) in a product made from quince * * * *      
essential oils of citrus fruits         *    
any other edible ingredients           * *

Permitted treatments

If you want to describe your product using any of the regulated product names above then you can only use certain treatments on your product.  

Fruit pulp, fruit puree and aqueous extract of fruit may only be treated in the following ways:

  • heated, chilled or frozen
  • freeze-dried
  • concentrated, to the extent that is technically possible

Sulphur dioxide (E220) or its salts (E221, E222, E223, E224, E226 and E227) may be used as an aid to manufacture, provided that the maximum sulphur dioxide content is not exceeded (10 mg/kg in relation to jams, jellies and marmalades made with sulphited fruits). This does not apply to extra jam or extra jelly. 

Apricots and plums used in jam can be subjected to other drying processes but cannot be freeze-dried.

Citrus peel can be preserved in brine.

In the same way as for additional ingredients above, you can apply other treatments than those listed to your products, but if you do so you cannot describe it using a regulated product name.    

Sulphur dioxide

If sulphur dioxide (SO2) is present at greater than 10mg/kg it must be declared in the ingredient list in the same way as any other ingredient.

Reduced sugar

In the case of all products permitted sweeteners can be used as a partial or complete replacement for sugar.  

A list of permitted sweeteners can be found on the FSA website.  

Where sugar has been partially or completely replaced by permitted sweeteners the description 'reduced sugar' may be used.  

In order to comply with other food legislation the amount of sugar must have been reduced by at least 30%.    

Labelling

NAME

If your product has been manufactured to meet the compositional requirements of a regulated product name then you must use it in the name of the food.  

The name of the fruit(s) used in jam, marmalade, etc must be included in the product name ('Strawberry Jam', 'Seville Orange Marmalade', etc).  

If the product is made from more than one type of fruit each must be stated in the name in descending order by weight of fruit (flesh, pulp, juice, etc combined) used in the product.

If a product is made from three or more types of fruit each must be stated in the name in descending order by weight of fruit and you must also state either 'mixed fruit' (or similar) or state the number of different types of fruit used.

For example - 'Mixed fruit jam made with strawberries, blueberries and blackcurrants'.

Where you are stating 'mixed fruit' you may also state 'frwythau cymysg'.  

The same will apply for any product that is using a regulated product name (where relevant).  

FRUIT & SUGAR CONTENT

This is not required for curds, flavour curds or mincemeat.

The label for jams and similar products must include the two following statements:

  • 'prepared with Xg fruit per 100g', where X is the amount of fruit used in 100g of finished product
  • 'total sugar content: Xg per 100g', where X is the amount of sugar in 100g of finished product determined by a refractometer at 20°C

Both statements must be in the same field of vision as the name of the product, which means that you must be able to hold the product so that the statements and the name are visible at the same time.  

You may state 'paratowyd â x g o ffrwythau am bob 100g' in addition to the fruit statement.  

You may state 'cyfanswm y cynnwys siwgr: x g ym mhob 100 g' in addition to the sugar statement.  

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR PREPACKED FOOD

These labelling requirements are in addition to the mandatory food labelling requirements of EU Regulation No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers. Mandatory requirements for the labelling of prepacked food are:

  • the name of the food
  • a list of ingredients
  • the quantity of certain ingredients or categories of ingredients (QUID)
  • indication of specified allergenic ingredients
  • 'use by' date or an indication of minimum durability (in the form 'best before' or 'best before end') and a lot or batch number (unless the date is sufficient to specify this)
  • any special storage conditions or conditions for use
  • name and address of the responsible food business operator
  • net quantity
  • place of origin, if not stating it could mislead
  • any instructions that are necessary to use the food
  • a nutrition information declaration consisting of the energy value and the amounts of fat, saturates, carbohydrate, sugars, protein and salt

For more information see 'Labelling of prepacked foods'.

Use of the term 'organic'

For any product being made from organic ingredients and intended to be marketed as an organic product, the name of the food should still be 'X Jam made from organically produced X'. An appropriate organic certification mark must be included on the label. Registration with an appropriate United Kingdom certification body is also required.

Please see 'Labelling & describing organic food', which explains the extra legal controls that apply.

Use of prescribed names for other products

The use of the terms 'jam' and 'jelly' are permitted where in use as a customary name - for example, 'jelly babies', 'mint jelly', 'table jelly' - and where this will not mislead the consumer.

The terms 'conserve', 'preserve', and 'fruit spread' are not regulated product names and products with these names would not be required to meet specific compositional standards so products described in this manner could use additional ingredients not on the list, contain different proportions of fruit, and so on.

Penalties

Failure to comply may result in an improvement notice being issued, requiring compliance to be achieved. If the improvement notice is not complied with it is an offence under the Food Safety Act 1990. The maximum penalty is a fine and two years' imprisonment.

If allergen information does not comply with the requirements it is an offence under the Food Information (Wales) Regulations 2014. The maximum penalty is a fine.

Key legislation

Last reviewed / updated: May 2018

Please note

This information is intended for guidance; only the courts can give an authoritative interpretation of the law.

The guide's 'Key legislation' links may only show the original version of the legislation, although some amending legislation is linked to separately where it is directly related to the content of a guide. Information on amendments to UK legislation can be found on each link's 'More Resources' tab; amendments to EU legislation are usually incorporated into the text.

© 2018 itsa Ltd.

Back to List of Notices

Contact

Call charges