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August 3rd, 2012

High Maltose Corn Syrup

I picked up a random junky granola bar the other day and looked at the ingredients. I was surprised to note that while it didn’t contain the evil, face-melting, soul-damning high fructose corn syrup, it did contain the mysterious “high maltose corn syrup,” a substance I’d never heard of before.

Hey, Wikipedia, what do you have for me?

It is less sweet than high fructose corn syrup, and contains little to no fructose. It is sweet enough to be useful as a sweetener in commercial food production, however.

In recent years, HMCS has seen an increase in use as a food additive due to the negative reputation of HFCS, as well as the absence of fructose, which is the source of the concern about the health effects of high-fructose corn syrup.

Well, that tells me… not much.

Hey, CSPI, I trust you (and you’re suing about those same crappy granola bars). Tell me more.

Improves shelf life, inhibits bacterial growth, fermentation, other purposes: Candy, baked goods, beer.

Acids or enzymes are used to break down cornstarch into a syrup rich in maltose (35 percent or more), a disaccharide. High maltose corn syrup, corn syrup solids, and maltodextrin are similar, and each are produced in a wide variety of formulations for different applications.

More importantly, though, CSPI indicates that it’s a “safe” ingredient versus HFCS, which is listed as a “cut back” ingredient (“Not toxic, but large amounts may be unsafe or promote bad nutrition.”).

Me, I’m just going to continue drinking maple syrup by the cupful.

Posted in Food and Beverage

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