Canning beet relish with stevia

Asked July 18, 2019, 8:57 AM EDT

Can I can my beet relish with beet relish with stevia and will it change the taste?

Wise County Virginia

1 Response

This is from the National Center for Home Food Preservation......This is for Splenda, which is the only sugar substitute USDA says can be used.

Can Splenda® (sucralose) be used in preserving food?
Granular Splenda® does not provide preservative properties like sugar.

Canning Fruits: Whereas we do not have published research work with using sucralose in the canning of fruits at home available to us, it is possible to use it for sweetening the water used to cover fruits when canning. The texture and color preserving aspects of a sugar syrup will not be provided. The result would be like canning in water except for the additional sweetness contributed by the Splenda®. The USDA fruit canning directions do allow for canning in water (i.e., without a sugar syrup), as there is adequate preservation for safety from the heat of proper canning. Some people do notice an aftertaste in other products and canned fruits, and it is possible some little changes in natural flavors may occur over storage time, since sugar can mask some of these. For people used to sucralose sweetening and flavors, the aftertaste may not be an issue. Based on some of our experiences in canning peaches and pickled foods, we suggest you start seeing what you like by trying less than a full substitution for the sugar in canning syrups. For example, if you use a medium sugar syrup that is 5-/14 cups water to 2-1/4 cups sugar, try 1 to 1-1/4 cups Splenda® the first time. You can always sweeten more when you serve the finished product if it is not quite sweet enough; then you can increase the canning liquid amount the next time you can.

Preserves and Pickled Fruits: In other cases, where sugar is important, like some preserves or pickled fruits, it is not recommended that substitution of Splenda® be used for sugar if the product is to be canned for shelf stability. Splenda® cannot be used in several traditional Southern preserves we have on this website or in the University of Georgia Extension publications. These are whole or uniform pieces of fruit in a very thick sugar syrup, usually made with figs, peaches or pears. (These preserves are not jam or pectin gel products.) Sugar is required for the preservation of these syrupy fruit preserves as published, with very short boiling water canner processes. Without that heavy amount of sugar, these products become fruit pieces canned in water or lighter sugar syrups, and the usual (and longer) fruit canning process times and preparation directions would need to be used.

Jams and Jellies, or Fruit Spreads: You could use Splenda® as the optional sweetener in a jam or jelly made with a no-sugar needed pectin, such as Mrs. Wages™ Lite Home Jell® Fruit Pectin, Ball® No-Sugar Needed Pectin or Sure-Jell® for Less or No-Sugar-Needed Recipes. With these low-methoxyl pectins, no sugar is required at all. Sugar substitutes can be added as desired simply for flavor. The package inserts with these pectins give instructions on when to add the sugar substitutes (usually after all the cooking, right before filling the jars). Do not try to substitute Splenda® for the required sugar in recipes calling for “regular” liquid and powdered pectins.

And do not try to substitute Splenda® in long-boil or no-pectin-added jams and jellies intended for room temperature storage as a canned product. You might get some thickened fruit spreads with just fruit and Splenda®, but they may not have enough water control for processing like a gelled, high sugar-containing jam or jelly. They might require longer processing to avoid spoilage at room temperature. If you want to experiment with making these kind of fruit spreads we recommend freezing or refrigeration for storage.

We have developed three recipes using Splenda® and they are on our website, www.homefoodpreservation.com. They are quick pickled sweet cucumber slices, pickled beets and pickled cantaloupe. They are under the How do I....Pickle category, as well as National Center factsheets, http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/publications/nchfp/factsheets.html.

There is also a Peach-Pineapple Reduced Sugar Fruit Spread from the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning that does not require added sugar. Some other fruit substitutions are provided in the text. The suggested sugar for sweetening can be left out, or you can add some Splenda® as desired for sweetness. The process time is longer than regular jams and jellies, and is like that for a fruit puree. http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_07/peach_pineapple_spread.html

Prepared by the National Center for Home Food Preservation, June 2009. Updated May 13, 2014.