Corn Syrup

      104 Comments on Corn Syrup

I’m busy tonight with a hairy data conversion for one of my software clients,  so this is a short post.

I don’t know if this is pathetic, funny, a positive sign, or a combination of all three:  The makers of Karo corn syrup would like you to know that their product doesn’t contain any high fructose corn syrup.

I found this photo while going over my collection from Christmas. My mom had a bottle of this stuff in her kitchen, apparently to put in some kind of Christmas dessert I didn’t eat.  (If memory serves, we used to put dark Karo syrup on our waffles during my sugar-laden childhood.)

In case you’re wondering about the difference, high fructose corn syrup undergoes an extra step in which enzymes convert more of the glucose from the corn into fructose to make it sweeter.

I recommend you avoid corn syrup of either variety.

 


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104 thoughts on “Corn Syrup

  1. AndreaLynnette

    That means it’s healthy, right?

    I saw a cookie nutrition label recently that listed sugar, HFCS, molasses, and high-fructose corn syrup on it. That floored me. The carbs per serving were more than I typically eat all day.

    Good luck with your number-crunching!

  2. Adeline

    I ‘ve never seen such a product in France, i mean a plain bottle of corn syrup. What is its use in the kitchen ?

    Corn syrup is an ingredient in some desserts. We also used it in place of maple syrup on pancakes and waffles.

  3. js290

    I thought “corn syrup” was historically pure glucose.

    I’m not sure if it was pure glucose, but the chemistry wizards certainly figured out how to convert glucose to fructose.

  4. AndreaLynnette

    That means it’s healthy, right?

    I saw a cookie nutrition label recently that listed sugar, HFCS, molasses, and high-fructose corn syrup on it. That floored me. The carbs per serving were more than I typically eat all day.

    Good luck with your number-crunching!

  5. Paul

    Low in fat and no high fructose corn syrup…

    All that’s missing is some whole grain waffles and fruit juice on the side… The perfect healthy breakfast.

    That’s the breakfast that made me such a lean, athletic teenager.

  6. Adeline

    I ‘ve never seen such a product in France, i mean a plain bottle of corn syrup. What is its use in the kitchen ?

    Corn syrup is an ingredient in some desserts. We also used it in place of maple syrup on pancakes and waffles.

  7. js290

    I thought “corn syrup” was historically pure glucose.

    I’m not sure if it was pure glucose, but the chemistry wizards certainly figured out how to convert glucose to fructose.

  8. Elenor

    You’re converting data about hair?
    {wink}

    It’s trademark data, so there may some hair products in there.

  9. Bruce

    I too grew up with using Karo on waffles etc. We also used it on cottage cheese as a dessert item. Did anyone else do that? Where in the heck would that idea have come from? I grew up in Northern Illinois.

  10. Debbie

    The sad thing is people will read that it isn’t “High fructose” corn syrup and get all excited because they will think it’s healthy to consume. Blah!

  11. timmah

    I have a bottle of corn syrup that’s 3-4 years old. I use it once a year to make chocolate covered strawberries on valentine’s day.

    Should it bother me that mold won’t even eat it?

    The mold may be setting an example for you.

  12. LCNana

    So let me see if I’ve got this straight. Manufacturers of products that contain high fructose corn syrup take a perfectly straight forward SWEET product made from corn and by some evil chemical process make it even SWEETER so that it goes further, in the manufacture of their extra sweet “candy-like” products. Have I got that right, Tom?

    What a world.

    That’s pretty much it.

  13. Jan

    It is my understanding (and I could be mistaken) that corn syrup of the Karo variety is mostly glucose. But even if that’s true, I wouldn’t touch it with a 10-foot pole. We indulge in local sweet corn very occasionally, but commercial corn products are very likely GMO, and Homey don’t play that in our house.

  14. Mark. Gooley

    I wonder whether the snob cooking magazines are still featuring recipes with organic agave syrup, which is nearly all fructose and which should have been made into tequila instead. It’s good to see a seller of glucose syrup distance that product from sources of fructose, yes.

  15. Paul

    Low in fat and no high fructose corn syrup…

    All that’s missing is some whole grain waffles and fruit juice on the side… The perfect healthy breakfast.

    That’s the breakfast that made me such a lean, athletic teenager.

  16. Elenor

    You’re converting data about hair?
    {wink}

    It’s trademark data, so there may some hair products in there.

  17. Bruce

    I too grew up with using Karo on waffles etc. We also used it on cottage cheese as a dessert item. Did anyone else do that? Where in the heck would that idea have come from? I grew up in Northern Illinois.

  18. Becky

    Lol I love to see what the newest buzz words are. My new favorite is “natural” as in 7-Up or Wendy’s Natural Cut Fries. Forget the vegetable oil and carbs, they’re “natural”! Unless I’m mistaking something, cocaine is derived from a naturally occuring plant as well. Doesn’t mean it’s good for you…

    Plenty of natural plants can kill you if you eat them.

  19. Debbie

    The sad thing is people will read that it isn’t “High fructose” corn syrup and get all excited because they will think it’s healthy to consume. Blah!

  20. timmah

    I have a bottle of corn syrup that’s 3-4 years old. I use it once a year to make chocolate covered strawberries on valentine’s day.

    Should it bother me that mold won’t even eat it?

    The mold may be setting an example for you.

  21. LCNana

    So let me see if I’ve got this straight. Manufacturers of products that contain high fructose corn syrup take a perfectly straight forward SWEET product made from corn and by some evil chemical process make it even SWEETER so that it goes further, in the manufacture of their extra sweet “candy-like” products. Have I got that right, Tom?

    What a world.

    That’s pretty much it.

  22. Jan

    It is my understanding (and I could be mistaken) that corn syrup of the Karo variety is mostly glucose. But even if that’s true, I wouldn’t touch it with a 10-foot pole. We indulge in local sweet corn very occasionally, but commercial corn products are very likely GMO, and Homey don’t play that in our house.

  23. Mark. Gooley

    I wonder whether the snob cooking magazines are still featuring recipes with organic agave syrup, which is nearly all fructose and which should have been made into tequila instead. It’s good to see a seller of glucose syrup distance that product from sources of fructose, yes.

  24. KG

    “I too grew up with using Karo on waffles etc. We also used it on cottage cheese as a dessert item. Did anyone else do that? Where in the heck would that idea have come from?”

    Simple….grocery shopper in the store who is generally ignorant of true nutrition science is shopping primarily focused on obtaining the best deal.

    When they see a bottle of corn syrup marketed as Pancake or Waffle syrup that is much cheaper than pure 100% maple syrup, the idea that there is a cheaper substitute that serves the same function (sweet syrup for your pancakes and waffles) at half the cost of what everyone used to traditionally use, the idea becomes widespread.

    Same effect I think goes for the prevalence of margarine over butter when it first hit the market. Of course you had the entire lipid hypothesis to cause the double whammy of false rationalization….”Why it’s cheaper AND healthier for you! Why would you ever buy butter, ever again?”

    It’s a great marketing ploy.

  25. Bridget

    This makes me think of bags of marshmallows that proudly display “0 Grams of Fat!”. Because obviously it’s fat that’s making you fat, not the 20 marshmallows you stuff in your face because it’s low-fat.

    The Snackwell’s theory …

  26. Bruce

    While grocery shopping this morning, my wife asked if I wanted to try the new Franks RedHot Thick sauce, as she had a coupon for it. I took a quick look at the ingredients, and sure enough. They made it thick by adding HFCS. I just went to their website to look at the ingredients again and noticed that distilled vinegar is the first ingredient listed on the Thick variety. Their regular has cayenne peppers listed as the first ingredient. So they are offering a new “hot” sauce product that has more vinegar then cayenne (cheaper), then thicken it with HFCS. Oh, also modified food starch. The price is the same for both.

    Yee-uck.

  27. Janknitz

    I use light corn syrup to mix with dishwashing liquid to make monster bubbles for kids to play with outside on hot days–you know, those really big bubbles?

    For goodness sakes, don’t EAT it!!!!

    BTW, I remember my mom baking with “Lyle’s Golden Syrup” which the Lyle’s website describes as follows:
    “For those of you who are scientifically minded… the sucrose molecule splits in half to give glucose and fructose sugars. This inverted syrup is blended back with the original syrup to give a partially inverted syrup. The secret of Lyle’s Golden Syrup is the final blend of sucrose, glucose and fructose, which allows the syrup to be so thick and velvety without crystallizing.”

    Not touching that stuff either!

  28. Zachary Worthy

    I always crack up when I see “fat free” proudly labeled on the front of candies and other sugary products as if that’s a good thing. BTW have you seen the new ‘WhoNu’ brand of “nutritional cookies”? They are infusing cookies with nutrients and selling them as a health product; it’s rather ludicrous. Check it out, it’s an absolute riot.

    Oh, lordy ..

  29. Marilyn

    @ Bruce: Nebraska here. All of the above and more. We, too, used it on pancakes and waffles and put it on cottage cheese. A small amount was sometimes added to the baby’s bottle. AND, after we butchered, Mom cooked the neck bones and then took the meat off and cooked it with pearl barley. We called it “head cheese.” (Not to be confused with that glarp they sell as “head cheese” in the stores.) We took white bread, put on lots of real butter, and poured on Karo dark syrup, then piled the warm head cheese on top. I hate to tell you this, but if that opportunity presented itself today, I’d have to take a day’s vacation from low-carb. It was wonderful! 🙂

    The interesting thing is that through the years, I’ve been able to handle some plain corn syrup, but the high fructose stuff, even in small amounts, results in “serious gastric distress.”

  30. LXV

    “I ‘ve never seen such a product in France, i mean a plain bottle of corn syrup. What is its use in the kitchen ?”

    It’s used a great deal in candy making (to prevent unwanted crystallization). It’s also used for some ooey-gooey desserts like pecan pie.

    “Should it bother me that mold won’t even eat it?”

    The sugars suck up all the water, leaving none for the bacteria and mold. Sugar and honey can actually be used as an anti-bacterial on minor wounds. So I’d be far more disturbed if the mold did eat it.

    I’ll admit, I go through about six to eight bottles of corn syrup a year for my Christmastime candymaking. Everyone asks me for homemade marshmallows for Christmas presents (except for my MIL who wants salted caramel) so, eh, it’s not bad as a once a year treat.
    On the other hand…..I have a cousin who’s a Mountain Dew fanatic so I make him a special batch of ‘mallows by reducing a 2 liter of the stuff into 1.25 cups of syrup, coloring, and flavoring. And he drinks 2 liters of that stuff a day……… (eeeeugh!)

  31. Josh

    To answer people’s questions about corn syrup: Yes, normal corn syrup is almost pure glucose. There is a chemical process done that converts a portion of the corn syrup’s glucose into fructose; for HFCS that’s normally 55% fructose and 45% glucose. This supposedly makes the sweetness similar to table sugar (aka cane sugar, beet sugar), which is pure sucrose (sucrose is a glucose and fructose molecule bound together – so a 50/50 split of glucose and fructose). There are two benefits to HFCS: first, that it’s cheaper, as it’s made of corn, and corn is subsidized whereas cane sugar has tariffs; second, HFCS is a liquid at room temperature, as opposed to table sugar, making foods made from HFCS last longer without going stale (i.e. how that cookie in the vending machine stays “moist” longer).

  32. Peggy Cinocki

    @timmah, you don’t need corn syrup to make chocolate covered strawberries! Just melt some bittersweet chocolate and dip your berries in it. If you want to make it a little thinner, add a teeny bit I melted coconut oil to the melted chocolate. If you like it sweeter, a little Stevia does the trick. Made this way, the treats are healthy enough to have more than once a year.

  33. Barbie

    If there was nothing wrong with it, why the Warning?

    I’ve seen this start to pop up on Ketchup and other canned/bottled foods as well…

    The people over at cornsugar.com have some explaining to do eh?? 🙂

    Makes me wonder if the corn refiners are starting to eat their own.

  34. Becky

    Lol I love to see what the newest buzz words are. My new favorite is “natural” as in 7-Up or Wendy’s Natural Cut Fries. Forget the vegetable oil and carbs, they’re “natural”! Unless I’m mistaking something, cocaine is derived from a naturally occuring plant as well. Doesn’t mean it’s good for you…

    Plenty of natural plants can kill you if you eat them.

  35. Patricia

    @ Bruce. Hey! me, too! A little dark Kayro on cottage cheese is actually really Yummy! It must be a Northern Illinois thing. (‘Course that was one of the very few sweets we had.) I don’t know if the dark syrup of 60 years ago had more vitamins and minerals in them than now. I do know that it was recommended as a constipation cure for babies.

  36. KG

    “I too grew up with using Karo on waffles etc. We also used it on cottage cheese as a dessert item. Did anyone else do that? Where in the heck would that idea have come from?”

    Simple….grocery shopper in the store who is generally ignorant of true nutrition science is shopping primarily focused on obtaining the best deal.

    When they see a bottle of corn syrup marketed as Pancake or Waffle syrup that is much cheaper than pure 100% maple syrup, the idea that there is a cheaper substitute that serves the same function (sweet syrup for your pancakes and waffles) at half the cost of what everyone used to traditionally use, the idea becomes widespread.

    Same effect I think goes for the prevalence of margarine over butter when it first hit the market. Of course you had the entire lipid hypothesis to cause the double whammy of false rationalization….”Why it’s cheaper AND healthier for you! Why would you ever buy butter, ever again?”

    It’s a great marketing ploy.

  37. Craig

    Most southern pecan pie recipes call for outrageous quantities of Karo. The no-HFCS label should go over well with the same people who think they are being healthy drinking Mexican Coke, since it’s made with real sugar instead of HFCS.

  38. john hunter

    Pure cane sugar also contains no hfcs. Nor does antifreeze, cocaine, radial tires, or rat poisoning, so eat all of them you want.

    I prefer eggs with no HFCS.

  39. Bridget

    This makes me think of bags of marshmallows that proudly display “0 Grams of Fat!”. Because obviously it’s fat that’s making you fat, not the 20 marshmallows you stuff in your face because it’s low-fat.

    The Snackwell’s theory …

  40. Bruce

    While grocery shopping this morning, my wife asked if I wanted to try the new Franks RedHot Thick sauce, as she had a coupon for it. I took a quick look at the ingredients, and sure enough. They made it thick by adding HFCS. I just went to their website to look at the ingredients again and noticed that distilled vinegar is the first ingredient listed on the Thick variety. Their regular has cayenne peppers listed as the first ingredient. So they are offering a new “hot” sauce product that has more vinegar then cayenne (cheaper), then thicken it with HFCS. Oh, also modified food starch. The price is the same for both.

    Yee-uck.

  41. Janknitz

    I use light corn syrup to mix with dishwashing liquid to make monster bubbles for kids to play with outside on hot days–you know, those really big bubbles?

    For goodness sakes, don’t EAT it!!!!

    BTW, I remember my mom baking with “Lyle’s Golden Syrup” which the Lyle’s website describes as follows:
    “For those of you who are scientifically minded… the sucrose molecule splits in half to give glucose and fructose sugars. This inverted syrup is blended back with the original syrup to give a partially inverted syrup. The secret of Lyle’s Golden Syrup is the final blend of sucrose, glucose and fructose, which allows the syrup to be so thick and velvety without crystallizing.”

    Not touching that stuff either!

  42. Zachary Worthy

    I always crack up when I see “fat free” proudly labeled on the front of candies and other sugary products as if that’s a good thing. BTW have you seen the new ‘WhoNu’ brand of “nutritional cookies”? They are infusing cookies with nutrients and selling them as a health product; it’s rather ludicrous. Check it out, it’s an absolute riot.

    Oh, lordy ..

  43. Marilyn

    @ Bruce: Nebraska here. All of the above and more. We, too, used it on pancakes and waffles and put it on cottage cheese. A small amount was sometimes added to the baby’s bottle. AND, after we butchered, Mom cooked the neck bones and then took the meat off and cooked it with pearl barley. We called it “head cheese.” (Not to be confused with that glarp they sell as “head cheese” in the stores.) We took white bread, put on lots of real butter, and poured on Karo dark syrup, then piled the warm head cheese on top. I hate to tell you this, but if that opportunity presented itself today, I’d have to take a day’s vacation from low-carb. It was wonderful! 🙂

    The interesting thing is that through the years, I’ve been able to handle some plain corn syrup, but the high fructose stuff, even in small amounts, results in “serious gastric distress.”

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