The main difference between corn syrup and honey is that corn syrup is a sweet syrup made from the starch naturally occurring in corn, while honey is a sweet, viscous brown fluid made by bees.
Corn syrup and honey are two sweeteners we commonly use in baking and desserts. Both are sweeteners we can use instead of sucrose or table sugar.
Key Areas Covered
Corn Syrup, Honey, Sweetener
What is Corn Syrup
Corn syrup is a sweet syrup made from the starch naturally occurring in corn. It’s a viscous syrup that contains varying amounts of sugars, glucose, maltose, etc., depending on the grade. There are two main types of corn syrup: light corn syrup and dark syrup. The lighter version often has a vanilla flavor, a mild in taste, and is transparent, whereas the dark version is deeper, sweeter, and has a caramel coloring. Confectioners often use corn syrup to soften the texture of food, add volume, enhance flavor, and prevent the crystallization of sugar. They use it in baked goods as well as in candy, jellies, and jams. It can also give a smooth texture to pecan pies, sorbets, sugar pies, etc.
But it’s important to note that corn syrup we often find in grocery stores is different from high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) that is in many processed food items. During the manufacture of HFCS, most of the glucose content in corn syrup is converted to fructose. This high fructose content creates a strong sweetness than regular corn syrup. It has many adverse health effects when you consume it in excess. You can find HFCS in various food products like yogurts, bread, soft drinks, fruit juices, desserts, and cereal. Some food products even contain high-fructose corn syrup as a preservative, which helps to retain moisture.
What is Honey
Honey is a sweet, viscous brown fluid made by honey bees and some other bees. Bees collect nectar from flowering plants and transport it back to their hive, where worker bees store and process it. Due to enzymatic activity, the nectar turns into honey. Honey is sweeter than sucrose or table sugar. This sweetness comes from its fructose and glucose content. Honey contains about 40% fructose, 30% glucose, and 17% water, as well as carbohydrates and a small amount of vitamins and minerals.
People often use honey as a flavoring and sweetener in baking. It has many attractive chemical properties, the main being its long life. Microorganisms usually do not grow in honey, so it does not spoil. In fact, our ancestors used honey as a preservative to keep other foods (even food like meat) without spoiling. In modern cuisine, people mainly use honey in baking and desserts, as a spread on bread, and in various beverages. It’s also used as a sweetener in commercial beverages.
Difference Between Corn Syrup and Honey
Corn syrup is a sweet syrup made from the starch naturally occurring in corn, while honey is a sweet, viscous brown fluid made by bees.
Corn syrup has a plant origin, while honey has an animal origin. In fact, some vegans avoid eating honey.
Honey has a lower fructose concentration than high-fructose corn syrup.
While corn syrup we usually find in grocery stores is transparent, honey has a brown color.
Corn syrup is processed from corn whereas honey is naturally made by bees.
Honey contains some additional vitamins and minerals than corn syrup.
The main difference between corn syrup and honey is that corn syrup is a sweet syrup made from the starch naturally occurring in corn, while honey is a sweet, viscous brown fluid made by bees. Moreover, honey has a lower fructose concentration than high-fructose corn syrup.
1. “What Is Corn Syrup? Uses and Substitutes for Corn Syrup – 2022.” MasterClass.
2. “What Is Honey?” Food Insight.