Thanks for having me in the forum. My name is Jules and I run a small jam and chutney business. Until recently this was made all from home but we now have a commercial unit based on our family farm. I use traditional methods. Open pan cooking, small batches and only natural preservatives.
I have run the business for 10 years with very little issue, however, we are having problems with several batches of jam / jelly all made within the space of a month of eachother.
They are not all the same product - some apricot (low sugar), strawberry, apple & chilli jelly and raspberry (low sugar). All packaged in different sizes, some jars, some food grade catering pails.
The only ingredient they all contain is sugar - this I use in single 1kg packs.
I have read another thread on mould in jam and I believe that it has been caused by :
1 : The environment - we were very busy, working late and the weather was unusually changeable, it was very humid in the kitchen.
2 : Our filling process.. Jam is hot filled in jars. Jelly has a slightly longer process and has cooled a little. Food grade catering pails have cooled too otherwise they create condensation inside the lids and that spoils the product.
3. Pectin. We have recently changed our jelly recipe to include pectin. I removed jars of Apple & Chilli Jelly from a customer. This made with pectin had spoiled and those without hadn't, however those without were made earlier in the year.
Any information on how to test the products to find out what has caused the issue would be great please?
Does anyone have any information on how to hot fill a larger, plastic, catering pail, please?
How can I test the environment for mould in general?
I need to change my processes / HACCP and provide an explanation to my customers.
Thanks so much for your help.