Golden Syrup

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

golden syrup best known in Britain but also a standard item of the larder in some other countries which have been under British rule or influence, is a pale syrup which is a by-product of sugar refining. The term first appeared in the mid-19th century, when it applied to the thick sticky liquid obtained as a by-product of boiling down sugar-cane syrup to produce sugar; see also treacle, but bearing in mind the observation by Stobart (1980) that ‘the world of treacles and syrups is one where there is almost total confusion in older books’. The same author states that the colour and taste of the product are provided by impurities deliberately left in it. He gives the basic analysis as 24 per cent glucose, 23 per cent fructose and 33 per cent sucrose, with ‘small amounts of inorganic compounds of calcium, iron, and phosphoric acid. The high sugar content makes it impossible for any spoilage organisms to grow.’