Fig jam can go bad if it is not preserved correctly.
Sometimes, it may happen that your homemade fig jam will not retain its exact taste like a purchased one.
But that does not mean that you should not consume the jam.
If you want to know whether your fig jam would go wrong, continue reading the answers to the following questions.
How do you know if a fig jam has gone bad?
Fig jams are usually prepared by heating a fruit with a homogeneous mixture of sugar and water.
As we all are aware of the scientific fact that fruits are perishable, at one point in time, your jam is too going to alter its taste.
So, before discussing anything ahead, let us focus on signs of jam spoilage –
Check whether the lid of your unopened jam bottle is rusting or bulging?
Sometimes, the inner content of your unopened fig jam jar contents may naturally acquire darker shade over time.
This is a commonly observed scenario when your fig jam stands low on either preservatives or sugar.
However, the change in color does not mean the fig jam is spoiled.
To confirm, peep into the fig jam contents for the evident spoilage signs such as the growth of yeasts or any off smell.
Organic growth over the top surface of your fig jam indicates that it is severely degraded due to microbial interference.
So, if your fig jam either smells like alcohol fermentation or you find yeast growth, then you need to get rid of your fig jam.
But if your fig jam smells absolutely fine and tastes as fresh as it was while packed, chances are higher that the jam is good for consumption.
How do you preserve fig jam?
When you have so far dealt with what all can go bad with your fig jam, here are a few essential steps for preserving them –
Whenever you buy a fig jam, your unopened fig jam bottle should be immediately stored in a cool, dry, and dark place.
This prevents it from being exposed to the wrath of solar radiation. Now, the selection of the place depends entirely on you.
If you want, you can either store the jam in the pantry or basement or your kitchen cabinet.
All those who live in the tropical zones or a region of hot or warm climate should ensure that their room is well air-conditioned or well-ventilated.
If you do not have sufficient air conditioning system, you may then have to transfer your fig jam jar immediately to your fridge.
This helps in retaining the jam’s quality and efficacy for a longer duration.
Finally, let us look at some of the easy ways to preserve your fig jam and extend its shelf-life.
- An opened jam bottle should quickly go straight into the refrigerator.
- Make it a habit to take out the fig jam only when you need it. For example, when you spread it on your bread.
- Make sure to close the lid of your fig jam container properly and transfer it straight away to your fridge.
- Never keep your fig jam on the table for more than an hour.
- Use a well-washed spoon to scoop the jam from the container.
Following the above tips will ensure that you do not spoil or contaminate your fig jam with unseen viable micro-organisms.
How long does homemade fig jam last?
Homemade fig jams without any added preservatives or canning processes will last for two years when left in the pantry unopened.
Once opened, you need to consume your jam within a six-month tenure, and at the maximum, you can use it for one year when preserved in a fridge.
Sugars are an undetachable part of food preservation techniques.
When added for the preservation of homemade fruit jams such as fig jam, sugar accomplishes a dual function – preservation and sweetening agent.
Sugar helps in drawing water out from the fig jam, which leaves your jam with a thick consistency.
Besides, it acts as a physical barrier to prevent the possibilities of microbial cross-contamination.
Apart from sugar, the market has many other preservation alternatives available to extend the shelf life of your fig jam.
If you do not want to add any sweetening agent, you may simply add unsweetened pectin for providing a thick consistency to your fig jam.
Regardless of how much quantity of the sweetening agent you use for preserving your fig jam or whether you subject it to hot water canning bath or not, your opened jars of jam should always go straight into the refrigerator when not in use.
What happens if you eat expired jam?
Expired jams can make you sick.
When you eat an expired jam, you may develop symptoms of food poisoning, which can lead to indigestion, acidity, or stomach pain.
There is a fine line between an old jam and expired jam, especially if it is homemade.
So, check the jam if you know it is a bit old and consume only if you are sure it smells and looks fresh.
In case you ate expired jam accidentally and fell sick, immediately get it checked.
Note: Old jams do not make you sick if it is fresh. Only jams that are expired can make you ill and should be avoided.