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The main difference between the light corn syrup you buy for baking and the high fructose corn syrup used as a sweetener in processed foods is the extent of processing.
To make regular corn syrup, the starch is broken down either by enzymes or by a combination of enzymes and acid, yielding a mixture of sweeteners such as dextrin, maltose and glucose, says Dr. Barbara Struempler, Extension nutritionist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.
The process is stopped when the desired combination of sugars is achieved. The resulting syrup is filtered and centrifuged to remove proteins, fats and remaining starch. It is then decolorized and concentrated.
To make light corn syrup, the manufacturer adds high fructose syrup, vanilla and salt.
To produce high fructose corn syrup, the syrup is treated with an enzyme that promotes the conversion of glucose to fructose. The mixture of sugars and the level of sweetness will depend on how the sweetener is going to be used.
Source: Dr. Barbara Struempler (334) 844-2217, Extension Nutritionist, Alabama Cooperative Extension System.
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