Recipes Wiki
Recipes Wiki

About Instant ClearJel®[]

Article by Sharon Anne Hill

Instant ClearJel®: For Smooth Results[]

How to Use: For non-clumping, smooth results, it is best when first combined with dry ingredients, before adding liquid. It will begin to swell or thicken as soon as it is added to water, milk, or juices; it will impart a smooth, short texture when fully hydrated, reaching its full thickness within 5–10 minutes (without requiring any cooking). Instant ClearJel® can be used in cooking as well. The viscosity will increase slightly upon heating. It has excellent heat and acid resistance and can be used in acid-containing foods and in those applications where heating is required. It has good cold temperature storage stability, making it particularly well suited for refrigerated and frozen foods.

Instant ClearJel®: Production[]

Instant Clearjel® is a product manufactured by Ingredion,, for commercial use. The manufacture only deals with distributors and wholesalers. Instant ClearJel® is not available through the manufacture, distributors, or wholesalers to the public or normally in grocery stores.

Instant ClearJel®: Buying []

Look for it locally, within specialty cooking shops and restaurant food supply stores. If necessary, try calling your local state extension service for help locating it in a local shop near you. 

Instant ClearJel®: Instantly Thickens []

Instant ClearJel® is labeled "Instant" because is swells and gels instantly as it comes in contact with any liquid. Do not spoon it alone, into wet ingredients, when added improperly, it instantly clumps into globules of gel. Instant ClearJel® (ICJ) is a wonderful thickener "Cold-Swelling" Modified Food Starch, particularly best known for thickening commercially baked pies. ICJ provides great to excellent, economical, clear, and thick results in many types of recipes, with either cold or heated preparation.

  • Cold-swelling: thickens w/o cooking, but CAN be cooked
  • Modified: gelatinized (pre-cooked)
  • Food Starch:  food-grade starch, made from corn

Instant ClearJel®: Mixing[]

Mix Instant ClearJel® first with other dry ingredients in the recipe. []

  • For example, sugar or flour before stirring wet ingredients any liquids.

Use a blender, while slowly tapping Instant ClearJel® into a liquid*.

  • For example, food storage powdered milk.

An immersion blender or food processor also thicken a liquid* equally as well.

  • For example a fruit sauce from fruit juice.) 

*Note: 1-Tbsp Instant ClearJel® will blend to thicken 1-cup of liquid. []

Instant ClearJel® in Baking[]

Instant Clearjel makes moist and tender cakes as it allows the cake batter to retain more moisture while keeping a light and soft texture. It is often used in commercial bakery recipes and cake mixes for this reason. It can be used in baking to make chewier cookies, thicker frostings, and stabilized whipped cream.

Instant ClearJel®: Freezer Jam[]

Instant ClearJel® Freezer Jam

2 qt fresh fruit (5 cups crushed, combined fruit)
2 cups granulated sugar 
4 Tbsp Instant ClearJel®  
1 Tbsp lemon juice.
1 Tbsp corn syrup, (aids w/storage, if using freezing bags)

In a large bowl, using a potato masher, crush the fresh or thawed fruit. Set aside. In a bowl, using a fork, fully mix the sugar and ICJ. Stir in the sugar-ICJ-mixture, optional corn syrup, and lemon juice. 

ICJ makes a great jam, that's lower in sugar and calories! It makes a soft-set jam that's delicious on toast, waffles, or pancakes. Thawed flavors of Instant ClearJel® Freezer Jam/s taste like sweetened fresh fruit! They are delicious topped over some cake, between layers, or spooned over ice cream! 

Instant ClearJel®: Substitutions[]

3 Tbsp ICJ = 3 Tbsp cornstarch

3 Tbsp ICJ = 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

3 Tbsp ICJ = 1/4 cup tapioca flour

ICJ has several advantages over other common thickeners (i.e. cornstarch, flour, or potato starch and much less expensive than arrowroot). It has a more neutral flavor, so it's a good thickener for delicately flavored liquids. It also thickens without cooking and tolerates acidic ingredients. While sauces thickened with the other thickeners turn into a spongy mess if they're frozen, whereas sauces made with Instant ClearJel® can be frozen and then thawed.

Instant ClearJel®: Homemade Bread []

Add 2 tsp ICJ (per 3 cups flour) reserving -2 tsp less flour (per cup) called for in the recipe. In the bowl, first, combine the ICJ with a cup of flour. Add the rest of the ingredients as the recipe directs. For a 1-loaf recipe, add 1-tsp of reserved flour at a time, only as necessary and just until the ball cleans the sides of the bowl. Knead the dough ball until as smooth as a baby's bottom.

Adding ICJ retains the natural moisture in baked goods, extending the shelf life of the end product.

Another GREAT Bread Tip:

By adding 2 tsp ICJ (per 3 cups flour) you can also REDUCE up to HALF THE FAT, in most bread recipes, and still retain a very tender crumb texture. Reduce the fat content, also reduces calories!

Instant ClearJel®: Homemade Cookies[]

Substitute (all or part) of any shortening with real butter. Adding just 1 tsp ICJ (per 1-cup flour) to a cookie a batch keeps the butter in drop cookies from spreading too much. Rolled cookies roll out beautifully, and pre-chilling is often NOT even necessary. You decide.

Instant ClearJel®: Storing []

The manufacturer recommends storing Instant Clearjel® for up to 2 years, yet when kept dry, it will store virtually indefinitely.

Instant ClearJel®: Nutrition[]

Any "refined food" definitely lacks adequate nutritional value, think of Instant ClearJel® as having the same nutritional value as basic cornstarch. However, adding ICJ is healthier though the REDUCTION of [extra sugar and/or fat] - otherwise required for thickening - and/or absorption - within your recipes - through traditional thickening methods. So do consider those nutritional benefits, by using ICJ [instead] as your thickening agent!

Ultra Sperse: Instant ClearJel® Hybrid: []

See: About Ultra Sperse Article, by Sharon Anne Hill (plus FREE recipe links). There are generations of ULTRA Sperse which are 'ultra hybrids' of​​​​​​ Instant ClearJel®. Instant ClearJel® has been on the market since the 1940s, so it's one of the "grand-daddies" of modified food starches.

Ultra Sperse is a variety of modified food starches that quickly and more easily disperse within wet ingredients. It is marketed under a number of different brand names.

Instant ClearJel®: Recipes[]

Example Instant Clearjel® Recipes in Baking.

Example Instant ClearJel® recipes: