You may have seen glucose syrup on the ingredient list for numerous packaged foods.
Naturally, you may wonder what this syrup is, what it’s made from, whether it’s healthy, and how it compares to other products.
This article explains everything you need to know about glucose syrup.
Glucose syrup is a substance primarily used in commercial food production as a sweetener, thickener, and moisture-retaining agent.
As it doesn’t crystallize, it’s often utilized to make candy, beer, fondant, and certain canned and premade baked goods.
Instead, the syrup is made by breaking down glucose molecules in starchy foods through hydrolysis. This chemical reaction yields a concentrated, sweet product with a high glucose content (3).
The dextrose equivalent (DE) of these syrups signifies their level of hydrolysis. Those with a higher DE harbor more sugar and are therefore sweeter (6).
The two basic types of glucose syrup, which differ in their carb profile and taste, are (7):
Like many glucose syrups, corn syrup is made by breaking down cornstarch. While corn syrup can accurately be called glucose syrup, not all glucose syrups are corn syrup — because they can be derived from other plant sources.
Nutritionally, glucose and corn syrups are similar and offer very few health benefits. Neither contains a significant amount of vitamins or minerals (8).
They can be used interchangeably in many recipes, including baked goods, candy, frozen desserts, and glazes.
Summary Glucose syrup is a commercial sweetener used in products like baked goods and candy. It’s often derived from corn or other starchy foods and has little nutritional value.
Glucose syrup helps preserve and increase the sweetness of commercial foods, which may boost their appeal. It’s also very cheap to produce.
However, it doesn’t offer any health benefits.
This syrup doesn’t contain fat or protein but is instead a concentrated source of sugar and calories. One tablespoon (15 ml) is loaded with 62 calories and 17 grams of carbs — nearly 4 times more than the amounts found in table sugar (8, 9).
Summary Glucose syrup is a concentrated source of sugar and calories that’s primarily used to improve consumer satisfaction. It may increase your risk of various health conditions.
Since eating glucose syrup regularly may harm your health, it’s probably something you want to avoid.
Here are some tips for keeping glucose syrup out of your diet:
Summary Glucose syrup isn’t a healthy ingredient and should be avoided as much as possible. You can minimize your intake by reading ingredient labels and buying whole foods as much as possible.
Glucose syrup is a liquid sweetener often used in commercial foods to improve taste and shelf life.
However, eating this syrup regularly is unhealthy, as it’s highly processed and loaded with calories and sugar. As such, it’s best to avoid this ingredient.
Instead, look for foods that contain healthier sweeteners.
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