alternatives to sugar for canning fruit?

Asked September 4, 2014, 10:31 PM EDT

can you use agave or erythritol instead of sugar in canning fruit?

Deschutes County Oregon home food preservation

1 Response

Good Morning,

Thank you for your question. You may use agave to make a syrup (water + agave) for canning fruits. The agave flavor is enhanced with canning, so you may only need a little agave. You may also can fruit with just water, and then add a sweeter after opening the fruit. Fruit canned in water will be softer than fruit canned in a sugar syrup.

I have not been able to locate any information about the use of Erythritol in canning. Our canning fruits publication (PNW 199) says, "When canning fruits without sugar, select fully ripe, but firm fruits. Sucralose (commonly called Splenda) is the only sugar substitute in the marketplace that can be added to liquids before canning because it is heat stable. Other sugar substitutes are best added after the fruit is opened, just before eating.

http://cru.cahe.wsu.edu/CEPublications/pnw199/pnw199.pdf

** It would be safe to use Erythritol for canning, but it may not result in the quality that you like. If you want to try it, I would suggest canning up a small amount of fruit with an Erythritol syrup and then tasting it a few days later to see if you like it. You may also want to contact the manufacturer (phone number should be on the package) to see what they suggest.

Thank you for contacting Ask an Expert. Oregon State University Extension Service also has a Food Safety and Preservation toll-free Hotline available July 14 – October 17 (Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.). Please feel free to call 1-800-354-7319 with any food safety or food preservation questions.

Best wishes,
Tonya