Can I Use Regular Pectin In A Low / No Sugar Pectin Mix?
The answer here is a big no.
Standard sugar pectin, like our SSP or Sure Jell, needs a required brix or sugar content to react. Part of the gel structure of pectin requires a failed precipitation; which means there has to be a high enough sugar content to cause the pectin to actually come out of solution. This will cause part of the grab or web effect that creates the gel structure.
So, with a low or no sugar recipe there’s not sufficient sugar or solids to create that environment for the pectin to react. For low or no sugar applications, you’ll need to use a L.M. (aka low methoxyl) pectin which is a calcium reactive or metallic ionic reactive. It does not have to be calcium, but that’s generally what is used in the industry to cause the gel structure.
The sugar content really does play a part in the gel structure, therefore, a low-sugar recipe requires less pectin than a no-sugar recipe because solids are greater. Even though the sugar is not required to make the gel structure happen in a no-sugar recipe, it does help in the strengthening of the structure and the rigidity of the gel.