Corn Syrup Solids

Corn syrup solids are nothing, but a dehydrated product of regular corn syrup. Used in infant formula, bread and many other food items, corn syrup solids are different from the much sweeter version, high fructose corn syrup.
Whether you are referring to corn syrup solids, high fructose corn syrup or simply corn syrup, they all share one thing in common, i.e. source. Yes, these sweetening agents are based on cornstarch. They are used in a variety of food products, such as infant formula, bread, fruit flavored drinks, candies, lollipops, jellies and almost all sweet goodies that are sold commercially. But what are corn syrups solids? Are they similar to high fructose sugar? Scroll down to get your answers for the same.

What are Corn Syrup Solids?

As the name goes, corn syrup solids are dry forms of the regular corn syrup. To be more precise, these solid products are made after dehydrating corn syrup. Corn syrup powder and solids are used colloquially. Another product variation is the cultured corn syrup solids. They are treated with preservative agents to increase the shelf life of food products. Being extracted from corn syrup, all these sweet additives are similar to this regular sweetener in nutrition, taste and applications.

In the health food stores, you might have come across corn syrup products labeled as 'natural'. There is virtually no such brand that follows pure natural method for isolating cornstarch. The basic steps involve removing the outer covering of corn kernel, and isolating the inner starchy material. This carbohydrate rich pulp is then treated with enzymatic agents to make the liquid form of corn syrup. The watery part is removed with further treatment processes to form corn syrup solids.

Coming to the difference between corn syrup solids and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), the main distinguishing point lies in the sugar type present in these products. Similar to regular corn syrup, the main sugar in corn syrup solids is glucose or dextrose sugar. In contrary to this, the prime sugar in HFCS is fructose. The fructose quantity may be below 50 percent, 55 percent and as high as 90 percent. Thus, based on the percentage composition of fructose, there are different types of HFCS.

Corn Syrup Solids in Baby Formula

While there is no compatible substitute for mother's milk, an infant formula is formulated to mimic breast milk. So, it is understandable that commercially sold baby foods contain major nutrients that are essential for proper growth and development of the baby. The three prime nutrients in baby formula are carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Other constituents include vitamins, minerals, immune boosters, enzymes, hormones and flavoring ingredients. In formulation of baby formula, corn syrup solids are used as a source for carbohydrates.

The presence of corn syrup solids in infant formula raises many questions amongst parents. And many of us are doubtful about corn syrup vs sugar and corn syrup vs high fructose corn syrup. As per manufacturer's claim, use of corn syrup solids in baby formula is not a subject to worry about. Unlike the highly processed, chemically altered HFCS, they are completely safe under certain dosage. Free of corn protein, corn syrup powder and solids are also ideal choices for babies who cannot tolerate corn.

Nutrition wise, these solids are not so impressive. Except for the rich carbohydrate content, they contain no other major nutrients. They are high calorie food ingredients, which is understandable from the sugar percentage. As we all know, corn syrup is less expensive than table sugar. The market price for 1 pound is approximately USD 4. Being a cheaper alternative to white refined sugar, corn syrup sugars are used in mass production of food items.

As far as safety is concerned, they are safe for moderate consumption. However, overeating of this sweet product can lead to several health problems, of which diabetes and weight gain are major consequences. After all, they are sugar, and eating them more than the recommended amount is associated with lifestyle diseases. So, use in moderation to satisfy your sweet tooth, and at the same time, minimize health risks associated with sugar consumption.
By Ningthoujam Sandhyarani
Published: 2/18/2011
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