Corn syrup and high-fructose corn syrup are two types of sweeteners produced from corn starch. Furthermore, corn syrup is made from the starch of corn while high fructose corn syrup is made by the breakdown of maltose into glucose, followed by the enzymatic conversion of some glucose into fructose.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Corn Syrup
– Definition, Preparation, Uses
2. What is High Fructose Corn Syrup
– Definition, Preparation, Uses
3. What are the Similarities Between Corn Syrup and High Fructose Corn Syrup
– Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Corn Syrup and High Fructose Corn Syrup
– Comparison of Key Differences
Corn Syrup, Food Additives, Fructose, Glucose, High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), Maltose
What is Corn Syrup
Corn syrup or glucose syrup is a type of food additive made through the partial hydrolysis of corn starch. The enzyme responsible for this hydrolysis is α-amylase. Due to the partial hydrolysis of starch, the corn syrup mainly contains maltose, which is a disaccharide with two glucose molecules. However, some oligosaccharides may remain in the mixture. Here, the corn starch is taken from the wet milled number 2 yellow dent corn. The viscosity and sweetness of the corn syrup depend on the degree of hydrolysis.
The two common commercially available corn syrups are light corn syrup and dark corn syrup. The light corn syrup is clear and moderately sweet. Vanilla flavor and salt are used for the seasoning. On the other hand, the dark corn syrup has a warm brown color and a strong taste than light corn syrup. It is a combination of corn syrup, molasses, salt, caramel color and flavor, and sodium benzoate as the preservative. Corn syrup is used either as a thickener, a sweetener or a humectant, which retain moisture in food while maintaining its freshness.
What is High Fructose Corn Syrup
High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a further processed form of corn syrup. In order to produce it, the regular corn syrup is completely hydrolyzed into glucose. Then, most of the glucose is enzymatically converted into the fructose. The enzyme responsible for this conversion is glucose isomerase. Further processing of the corn syrup into the high-fructose corn syrup decreases the viscosity while increasing the sweetness. Hence, high-fructose corn syrup is more water-soluble than regular corn syrup.
Here, the amounts of fructose can vary at the end of the processing; hence, there are different grades of high-fructose corn syrup based on the amount of fructose present. The most common forms of high-fructose corn syrup are HFCS 42 (contains 42% fructose), HFCS 55, HFCS 65, and HFCS 90. The main usage of high-fructose corn syrup is as a sweetener, replacing regular table sugar due to its intense sweetness when compared to regular corn syrup. Thus, most breakfast cereals and soft drinks include this.
Similarities Between Corn Syrup and High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Corn syrup and high-fructose corn syrup are two types of food additives produced from the corn starch.
- Both are important as sweeteners.
- Also, they are less expensive than regular table sugar.
Difference Between Corn Syrup and High Fructose Corn Syrup
Corn syrup refers to a syrup containing dextrins, maltose, and dextrose that is obtained by partial hydrolysis of cornstarch while high-fructose corn syrup refers to corn syrup to which enzymes have been added to change some of the glucose into fructose, making the product sweeter than regular corn syrup. Hence, this explains the basic difference between corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup.
Corn syrup mainly contains maltose while high-fructose corn syrup contains glucose and fructose. Therefore, this is the main difference between corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup.
Another difference between corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup is in the preparation. The Corn syrup is made by the partial hydrolysis of corn starch while high-fructose corn syrup is produced by the enzymatic conversion of some of the glucose into fructose in the hydrolyzed corn starch.
Types of Enzymes
The preparation of corn syrup involves α-amylase while the preparation of high-fructose corn syrup involves both α-amylase and glucose isomerase. This is also a difference between corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup.
The two main types of corn syrup are the light corn syrup and the dark corn syrup while the types of high-fructose corn syrup include HFCS 42, HFCS 55, HFCS 65, and HFCS 90.
Sweetness is another major difference between corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup. High-fructose corn syrup has a sweeter flavor than regular corn syrup.
Moreover, high-fructose corn syrup is more soluble in water than regular corn syrup.
Corn syrup can be used as a thickener, a sweetener, and a humectant while high-fructose corn syrup can be used as a sweetener, replacing regular table sugar.
Corn syrup may not generate intensive health effects while high-fructose corn syrup can cause obesity and metabolic disorders.
Corn syrup is the partially-hydrolyzed corn starch. It has a high viscosity and less sweetness. Moreover, it mainly contains maltose. On the other hand, high-fructose corn syrup contains fructose as some of the glucose in the corn syrup is enzymatically-converted into fructose. In addition, high-fructose corn syrup is less viscous and sweeter. The main difference between corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup is the preparation-based quality.
1. Wise, Deb. “What Is Corn Syrup? And Why Is It in My Frozen Pop?” Cooking Light, 29 June 2015, Available Here
2. “High Fructose Corn Syrup and Fructose, The Differences.” FructoseFacts, Available Here