High-maltose corn syrup

High-maltose corn syrup is a food additive used as a sweetener and preservative. The majority of sugar is maltose. It contains maltose maltotriose and dextrins with a very low amount of dextrose. It is less sweet than high-fructose corn syrup and contains little to no fructose. It is a sugar additive that’s used to improve shelf life and prevent bacterial growth.

High maltose corn syrup is bad for your health when you consume too much, but high fructose corn syrup is worse for you. It is sweet enough to be useful as a sweetener in commercial food production, however. To be given the label “high”, the syrup must contain at least 50% maltose. You should limit your intake of both sweeteners.

By using β-amylase or fungal α-amylase, glucose syrups containing over 50% maltose, or even over 70% maltose can be produced. This is an advantageous factor in manufacturing food products like jam, jellies, chewing gums, canned fruits etc.


High-maltose corn syrup is used as a substitute for normal glucose syrup in the production of hard candy: at a given moisture level and temperature, a maltose solution has a lower viscosity than a glucose solution, but will still set to a hard product. It is less viscous than liquid glucose of same dextrose equivalent. Hence it can be handled with ease.

Maltose is also less humectant than glucose, so that candy produced with high-maltose syrup will not become sticky as easily as candy produced with a standard glucose syrup. According to the CSPI, high maltose corn syrup can provide a sweet flavor to products, as well as add to food shelf life by acting as a preservative and a bacterial growth inhibitor. You’ll find the syrup in candy, baked goods and alcohol beverages (as it assists with the fermentation process). To create high maltose corn syrup, food scientists add enzymes or acids to cornstarch, which creates a maltose-rich syrup.

Since maltose has a low freezing point, HMCS is useful in frozen desserts. Most of the high-speed confectionery molding lines use high maltose corn syrup due to its low viscosity. It is also used in brewing, because it has a balanced fermentability, can be added at high concentrations to the wort kettle, increasing throughput, and reduces haze caused by varying malt quality. Candies produced with high maltose corn syrup are bright, transparent and smooth in texture.

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