Corn Syrup

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About
Because acid treatment of sucrose is somewhat unpredictable, most modern confectioners instead use corn syrup, which is an especially effective inhibitor of crystallization, and doesn’t readily caramelize. The assorted long glucose chains form a tangle that impedes the motion of both sugar and water molecules and makes it more difficult for the sucrose to find a crystal onto which to fit. The glucose and maltose molecules interfere in the same way that invert sugar does. Corn syrup also provides body and chewiness, is less sweet than sugars, and has the advantage for manufacturers of being less expensive than crystalline sugar.