Corn syrup is a liquid alternative to solid sugar or sucrose. It finds use in sweet beverages, sweets, and bakery items.
But what is corn syrup made up of? Is it healthy to consume it? How does its nutrition differ from regular sugar?
What is corn syrup?
Corn syrup is an edible liquid-sweetening substance that comes from corn starch. It has maltose and some higher oligosaccharides. It is also called glucose syrup.
This is readily available in commercial shops and supermarkets. To make it at home, you mix cornstarch and sugar with water and lemon juice and boil on low flame to get a thick syrup.
This is corn syrup. This syrup is also made by another process of breaking down cornstarch with the help of 1 or 2 enzymes. Heating corn starch with an acidic food also yields this syrup.
The bakers use it to brown bakery items and help them retain moisture. Its advantage is that it remains stable even in acidic foods and beverages. It softens food texture and prevents sugar from crystallizing.
Hence it helps make candies. It adds volume to the food and enriches its flavor. Its decolorized form is used in jams, jellies, and the like. However, this is less sweet.
Other sources of glucose syrup
Besides corn or maize, one can obtain this syrup from other starch sources such as potatoes, rice, and wheat. The dark type of this syrup can also be prepared by mixing corn syrup with molasses or caramel.
This is sweeter than light syrup and possesses a distinctive flavor. One can use it as table syrup. This finds use in the manufacture of high fructose-containing corn syrup.
This goes into the making of soft drinks because it is cheaper than regular sugar or sucrose. For this, an enzyme D-xylose isomerase converts glucose into fructose.
This syrup has 62 calories in a cup. Its carb content is 12.99%. The other nutrients in it are sodium, zinc, selenium, and vitamin B1.
This syrup is put into cakes, cookies, cereals, flavored yogurts, crackers, preserve meat, ice creams, canned fruits, soups, and beers. It goes into bread and as a salad dressing.
Cold drinks, other sweet beverages, and dairy products also contain it. Jams, frostings, chocolates, fudge, and jellies have it.
Corn syrup’s bad effects
This syrup is not good in excessive amounts. It can cause the following side effects on the body. It can cause or worsen the diabetic state.
If it makes up more than 25% of your daily calorie needs, it could increase the risk of cardiovascular incidents and death. Sugar and sweet food items are addictive.
If you eat too much of it, it could result in weight gain and obesity both in children as well as adults.
High-sugar eating can result in body inflammation and cause brain dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, it could negatively affect liver function and decrease its ability to remove toxins from the body.