Are you confused about the difference between liquid glucose and glucose syrup?
You’re not alone. These two sweeteners are often used interchangeably in recipes and can be found in a variety of commercial food products.
But are they really the same thing?
In this article, we’ll explore the similarities and differences between liquid glucose and glucose syrup, as well as their uses and potential health effects.
So, let’s dive in and clear up the confusion once and for all.
Is Liquid Glucose And Glucose Syrup The Same?
The short answer is no, liquid glucose and glucose syrup are not the same thing.
While both are forms of simple sugar, they are made from different sources and have different uses in the food industry.
Liquid glucose, also known as glucose syrup, is a liquid form of simple sugar that is made from the hydrolysis of starch. It is commonly used in baking and confectionery to keep products soft and moist, as well as to sweeten and add volume to foods.
Glucose syrup, on the other hand, is a syrup made from the hydrolysis of starch that contains varying amounts of glucose, maltose, and higher oligosaccharides. It is commonly used in industrial fermentation and in confectionery to sweeten and soften texture.
What Is Liquid Glucose?
Liquid glucose, also known as glucose syrup, is a type of simple sugar that is commonly used in the food industry. It is made from the hydrolysis of starch, which can come from a variety of sources such as corn, potatoes, wheat, barley, rice, and cassava. The process of hydrolysis breaks down the starch into its component sugars, primarily glucose.
Liquid glucose is a versatile ingredient that is often used in baking and confectionery to keep products soft and moist. It can also be used to sweeten and add volume to foods. In commercial food production, it is used as a thickening agent, moisture-absorbing agent, or sweetening agent.
Liquid glucose is different from other liquid sweeteners such as honey or golden syrup because it is made specifically from glucose. It has little nutritional value and is considered unhealthy when consumed in excess due to its high calorie and sugar content.
Despite its negative health effects, liquid glucose remains an important ingredient in the food industry due to its versatility and ability to enhance the taste and texture of foods. It is widely available in supermarkets and cake decorating shops.
What Is Glucose Syrup?
Glucose syrup is a refined and concentrated solution of simple sugars, such as dextrose, maltose, and higher saccharides. It is obtained by hydrolysis of starch from various sources, including corn, potatoes, wheat, barley, rice, and cassava. The manufacturing process involves breaking down glucose molecules in starchy foods through hydrolysis, resulting in a concentrated sweet product with a high glucose content.
Glucose syrup is a clear solution that is much less sweet than regular sugar. It is also more viscous due to its syrupy consistency. The sweetness and the viscosity of glucose syrup depend on how long the solution is hydrolyzed. The longer the hydrolysis process, the sweeter and more viscous the syrup becomes.
Glucose syrup is primarily used in commercial food production as a sweetener, thickener, and moisture-retaining agent. It doesn’t crystallize, making it ideal for making candy, beer, fondant, and certain canned and premade baked goods. In addition to its lack of crystallization, glucose syrup is also transparent and has a neutral taste. These characteristics make it an ideal ingredient for many food products.
Glucose syrup can contain varying amounts of glucose, maltose, and higher oligosaccharides depending on the grade. Syrups used in confectionery typically contain 10% to 43% glucose. Glucose syrup containing over 90% glucose is used in industrial fermentation.
Similarities Between Liquid Glucose And Glucose Syrup
While liquid glucose and glucose syrup have some differences, there are also some similarities between the two. Both are commonly used as sweeteners, thickeners, and stabilizers in a wide range of food products, including baked goods, candies, and beverages. They are both made from the hydrolysis of starch and can be derived from various sources such as corn, wheat, potatoes, barley, and cassava.
Both liquid glucose and glucose syrup are highly processed products that can enhance the color, texture, flavor, and stability of various cuisines and baking products. They are also aqueous solutions of several compounds, primarily glucose, dextrose, and maltose in distinct proportions.
In addition, both liquid glucose and glucose syrup have the ability to prevent crystallization in recipes. This makes them ideal for use in candies and frozen dessert recipes.
However, it is important to note that while they share some similarities, they are not interchangeable in all recipes. Corn syrup is sweeter than liquid glucose, so it is important to adjust the amount used accordingly.
Differences Between Liquid Glucose And Glucose Syrup
One of the main differences between liquid glucose and glucose syrup is their consistency. Liquid glucose is, as the name suggests, a liquid form of simple sugar that is clear and viscous. It is often used in recipes that require a liquid sweetener, such as icings, syrups, and candy making. Glucose syrup, on the other hand, can come in both liquid and solid form, and has a thicker consistency than liquid glucose.
Another difference is their composition. Liquid glucose is primarily made up of glucose molecules, while glucose syrup contains varying amounts of glucose, maltose, and higher oligosaccharides. This means that glucose syrup can have a more complex flavor profile than liquid glucose, and can also affect the texture of foods differently.
The source of the starch used to make these sugars can also differ. Liquid glucose is often made from corn or wheat starch, while glucose syrup can be made from a variety of sources such as corn, potatoes, barley, cassava, and wheat.
In terms of their uses in the food industry, liquid glucose is commonly used as a sweetener and to add moisture to baked goods and confectionery products. Glucose syrup, on the other hand, is more commonly used in industrial fermentation processes and in confectionery products to sweeten and soften texture.
Uses Of Liquid Glucose And Glucose Syrup
Liquid glucose and glucose syrup have a wide range of uses in the food industry due to their unique properties.
One of the major uses of liquid glucose is as a flavor enhancer in candies and other types of foods. It helps to add sweetness and enhance the overall taste of the product. Liquid glucose is also used as a stabilizer to improve the shelf life of certain products. It reduces the freezing point and improves the freezer capacity, making it ideal for frozen desserts like ice cream.
Another important application of liquid glucose is as a texture enhancer. It helps to lend a smooth texture and body to products like baked goods and frozen desserts. It aids in the elimination of graining in these products, resulting in a smoother finish.
Glucose syrup is primarily used as a sweetener and thickener in commercial food production. It is commonly used in candies, soft drinks, fruit drinks, and other premade baked goods. It helps to control sucrose and dextrose crystallization in confections and is primarily used in hard candies since candies made with sucrose alone tend to be brittle.
Glucose syrup also finds use as an adjunct in the brewing industry. It is used to supplement malted barley in the brewing process, providing density control and lending sweetness to the final product. Glucose syrup is also responsible for adding a richer crumb color to baked goods.
Potential Health Effects Of Consuming Liquid Glucose And Glucose Syrup
While liquid glucose and glucose syrup are widely used in the food industry, they do not offer any health benefits and can have potential negative health effects if consumed regularly in large amounts.
Both liquid glucose and glucose syrup are highly concentrated sources of sugar and calories. One tablespoon of liquid glucose contains 62 calories and 17 grams of carbohydrates, which is almost four times more than the amount found in table sugar. Consuming these syrups regularly can lead to an increased risk of obesity, high blood sugar, poor dental health, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Additionally, some people may experience minor side effects after consuming liquid glucose, such as swelling of the oral cavity, chest tightness, and severe allergic reactions like rashes, itching, and hives.
Furthermore, high consumption of fructose in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is commonly found in processed foods and beverages, has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. While HFCS is not the same as liquid glucose or glucose syrup, it is important to note that all forms of added sugars should be consumed in moderation to maintain overall health.