Michigan State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600966
Even though sugar helps preserve jellies and jams, molds can grow on the surface of these products. Research now indicates that the mold which people usually scrape off the surface of jellies may not be as harmless as it seems. Mycotoxins have been found in some jars of jelly having surface mold growth. Mycotoxins are known to cause cancer in animals; their effects on humans are still being researched.
Because of possible mold contamination, paraffin or wax seals are no longer recommended for any sweet spread, including jellies. To prevent growth of molds and loss of good flavor or color, fill products hot in hot sterile half- pint Mason jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace, seal with self-sealing lids, and process 5 minutes in a boiling-water canner. Correct process time at higher elevations by adding 1 additional minute per 1000 ft. above sea level. If unsterile jars are used, the jars should be processed l0 minutes. Use of sterile jars is preferred, especially when fruits are low in pectin, since the added 5-minute process time may cause weak gels.