This is related but not a duplicate of this question.

Apparently, I used fresh kiwi and mango in my jelly, and now it does not set. I know what I did wrong; but what can I do about it?

E.g. Can I add gelatin powder to the mixture to improve the chances of it setting?

I know that as a last resort I can probably take the fruit out and consume them directly, but then the jelly would be wasted (drinking sugar syrup is...not very pleasant).

  • 9
    It is not uncommon in the US to use failed jelly as breakfast syrup for pancakes, waffles etc. rather than as a drink syrup. Not sure on a kiwi/mango, it would depend on personal taste, though added to a fresh fruit or compote it sounds appealing to me. I have even seen companies market them as "Oops". Syrups made with the same basic recipe as their jelly but without gelling it.
    – dlb
    Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 13:36
  • 1
    So...based on the other question, you added fresh fruit to a gelatin. As an American my first thought was the jelly you spread on toast which typically relies on pectin rather than gelatin. I dont know if kiwi will wreck pectin or agar agar as well, but those might be options to consider besides gelatin if you don't want to cook your fruit in the future.
    – kitukwfyer
    Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 16:56
  • 7
    Fid you use kiwifruit? Or kiwi? As a New Zealander, they're quite different.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 3:17
  • 4
    FYI Jelly setting is destroyed by the natural digestive enzymes in (fresh) pineapples, papayas, mangoes, kiwi etc. I also found out the hard way when I tried to use fresh pineapple in a trifle. Use canned pineapple instead, it's heat-treated which destroys those enzymes.
    – smci
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 12:21
  • 1
    @smci or just boil the fruit if you can't find canned pineapples (markets in my area don't have canned pineapples, but fresh ones arrive in one market) Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 13:20

3 Answers 3


Your problem is actinidain, an enzyme in the kiwi (and to a lesser degree even in the mango) that causes the jelly to stay liquid. Heat deactivates it, so your first step is to boil the whole thing. The minimum temperature to denature actinidain is 60 C, but I recommend to exceed that, just to be sure. You should then add more gelatin, assume that at least a significant portion of the original gelatin was broken down, as evidenced by the non-setting.

If you don’t like the now-mushy fruit pieces after boiling, I suggest giving it a whirr with the immersion blender and calling it “mousse”. You could even add a bit of whipped cream, mixed in just before the jelly sets. (Note that adding a dairy product will only be ok after boiling, again the enzymes need to be deactivated or the whole thing will turn bitter as well.)

  • 6
    Seriously, +1 for the "calling it a mousse". lol.
    – bracco23
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 9:44

The problem is probably bromelain, an enzyme in kiwifruit which is destructive to gelatin 'bonds' which tangle together to create the set jelly. I'm not sure about mango though.

  • This appears to play a similar role to actinidain. Various sources indicate it is indeed also found in pineapple. (So, both are probably the problem.) Commented Jul 31, 2020 at 8:49

My apple peel jelly didn’t set so I’m calling it spiced apple syrup and leaving it that. We use more syrup in this house than jelly anyway. My dad did the same with is homemade grapes. Called it grape syrup.it was delicious. Too much fuss to fix. I need to move on with more important things.

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