Corn syrup is derived from corn but is hardly a vegetable. This sweet syrup is also known as glucose syrup and is made from the starch of corn -also known as maize. The production of corn syrup started in 1812 when a German chemist combined starch with hydrochloric acid and pressurized the mixture while it is being heated. Due to advancements in science corn syrup is now produced using a multi-step bioprocess.
There are two types of corn syrup available in the market, the light and dark corn syrup. The light corn syrup is made with salt and vanilla flavor, it is moderately sweet, and it is colorless like water. The dark syrup is made with molasses, salt, sodium benzoate, and caramel taste and color. It has a warm brown color and sweeter than the light corn syrup.
CORN SYRUP IS NOT HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP
There is some confusion as to whether high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup are the same product. Corn syrup is basically all glucose and high fructose corn syrup is about half fructose and half glucose. This difference might not mean much to you, but our bodies metabolize glucose and fructose differently. Fructose is most likely to be stored in our bodies as fat while glucose is used up by our cells for energy. This does make high fructose corn syrup worse than corn syrup based on this difference.
While this gives a slight edge on corn syrup, both syrups are not good additions to a healthy diet. And if it is not confusing enough, some corn syrup brands will add high fructose corn syrup to the mixture.
WHY IS CORN SYRUP BAD
There are some negative effects associated with taking in too much corn syrup. These effects are explained below.
Corn syrup’s main component is glucose. The intake of corn syrup increases the amount of glucose in the body. Excess glucose found in the body system is converted to fat and stored under the skin. So the continuous intake of corn syrup causes obesity and weight gain.
INCREASES THE CHANCES OF DEVELOPING TYPE 2 DIABETES
The continuous intake of corn syrup can make the body system develop type two diabetes. Diabetes is a disease that has plagued modern society as food that is high in sugar and low in nutrients are cheap and widely available.
People who consume a large amount of corn syrup can develop hypertension over a few years. This affects the flow of blood in the body and may lead to stroke and heart attack.
WEAKEN THE IMMUNE SYSTEM.
It was discovered some years ago that too much intake of corn syrup and other forms of sugar weakens the immune system over time.
The use of corn syrup at a moderate level is the best way to avoid the negative effects attached to corn syrup.
HOW DOES CORN SYRUP END UP IN A PRODUCT
Corn syrup is usually added by the manufacturer as a sweetener. You can find corn syrup in stores at retail prices. It is also used domestically and is the main ingredient in some food items such as pecan pies.
WHERE IS CORN SYRUP FOUND.
Commercially corn syrup is used as a sweetener, a thickener and as a humectant, i.e. it helps to keep food fresh. Some of the products it is found in are outlined below.
- It is used in the manufacturing of pancake syrup.
- Corn syrup is found in candies.
- Some soft drinks and fruit juice are made with corn syrup
- When combined with sugar, water, and cream of tartar it is used to make sugar glass.
HOW CAN YOU RECOGNIZE IT
Products that are made with corn syrup usually have it listed among its ingredients. Corn syrup although it can be used domestically and as such, you may not know if any food made with corn syrup actually contains the substance unless you are told.