What Is Glucose Syrup?
Glucose syrup is a sweetener used in many foods and beverages. It’s made from sugar or sucrose (table sugar) and water. It is usually added to baked goods, candy, soft drinks, juices and other products.
The main ingredient in glucose syrup is sugar. Other common ingredients include dextrose (a form of starch), maltodextrin (a combination of two types of starches), fructose and sometimes even artificial flavors.
It comes in different forms: granulated (granular), powdered or liquid concentrate. These are all called “concentrates.” There are several kinds of concentrates, but they all have one thing in common: They’re not pure sugar.
In general, concentrated sugars contain less than 50% sugar. Concentrated fruits and vegetables contain less than 40%. Sugar alcohols such as xylitol and mannitol may also be present in some varieties of glucose syrup.
How Does it Work?
Glucose syrup is made from corn, potatoes or other starchy foods. It’s then treated with enzymes to turn the starch into sugar. It’s then filtered and heated before it becomes a thick, colorless syrup.
It’s about twice as sweet as table sugar (sucrose). That means you can use half as much of it to get the same sweetness in your recipe.
What Are the Different Types?
There are two main types of glucose syrup: dried and liquid.
Dried glucose syrup is sold in dried granules or powders. It’s used as a sweetener and flavor enhancer in foods and beverages. You would use dried glucose syrup in baked goods or other recipes that you would normally use sugar for. It has about half the sweetness of table sugar. Dried glucose syrup is sometimes also called “maltodextrin.”
Liquid glucose syrup is typically about twice as sweet as table sugar. It’s most often used in soft drinks, processed foods and other recipes that call for a lot of sweetness.
What Do They Taste Like?
Glucose syrups taste like sugar. They have a mild flavor that makes them easy to incorporate into foods and recipes.
Are They Healthy?
Glucose syrup is very high in sugar. It’s made from sugar and has about the same number of calories as sugar.
In small amounts, glucose syrup is safe for most people. The main concern is having too much added sugar in your diet. Try to consume fewer foods that are high in added sugars like glucose syrups. This will help you keep your calorie intake within a healthy range.
Glucose syrups are often found in vitamin-fortified breakfast cereals. It is even present in many frozen entrees.
Is it Safe?
Some people may have trouble digesting glucose syrups. If you experience diarrhea, gas, bloating or stomach pain after eating a product that contains glucose syrup, you may be lactose intolerant. Lactose is a type of sugar found in dairy products.
The fructose in some types of glucose syrups can also cause diarrhea, nausea and abdominal pain in some people. Fructose is a type of sugar commonly found in fruits and honey. Fructose intolerance is not uncommon, especially among adults.
Can I Eat it?
Glucose syrups are safe for most people. However, you should limit the amount of sugar you eat and drink every day. They all contain calories that can add up quickly. In general, try to minimize or avoid consumption of glucose syrups and other sugars.
Sources & references used in this article:
Glucose syrups: technology and applications by P Hull – 2010 – books.google.com
Environmental life cycle assessment of textile bio-recycling–valorizing cotton-polyester textile waste to pet fiber and glucose syrup by K Subramanian, SS Chopra, E Cakin, X Li… – Resources, Conservation …, 2020 – Elsevier
High-fructose corn syrup: everything you wanted to know, but were afraid to ask by V Fulgoni III – The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2008 – academic.oup.com
Reduction of the glucose syrup browning rate by the use of modified atmosphere packaging by A Raisi, A Aroujalian – Journal of food engineering, 2007 – Elsevier
How to Brew: Everything you need to know to brew beer right the first time by JJ Palmer – 2006 – books.google.com
The effect of sugars and pectin on flavour release from a soft drink-related model system by A Hansson, J Andersson, A Leufvén – Food chemistry, 2001 – Elsevier