Glucose-Fructose Syrup and Fructose-Glucose Syrup
What is it?
Glucose-fructose Syrup is a plant-based ingredient used in food. It is derived from cereals (mainly wheat and maize). It is a sugar from the Carbohydrates family.
Glucose-fructose syrup has a similar composition to table sugar (also called ‘sucrose’) which is obtained from sugar cane or beet.
Sucrose and glucose-fructose syrups both consist of glucose and fructose, but in different proportions. Depending on the composition and use of the syrup, the fructose content in glucose-fructose syrups can range from 5% to 50%. The most common glucose-fructose syrups produced in the EU typically have a fructose content of 20, 30 or 42%. Sucrose is composed of 50% glucose and 50% fructose.
If the fructose content exceeds 50% its labelling becomes fructose-glucose Syrup (FGS). The most common FGS produced in the EU contains 55% Fructose.
Outside of the EU, glucose-fructose syrups and fructose-glucose syrups are labelled “High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and made only from maize starch.
Glucose-fructose syrups and fructose-glucose syrups are liquid syrups and categorized as sugars. They have therefore a calorific value of 4 kcal/g.
Glucose-fructose syrups are obtained from starch, through a process that uses water to break down molecules into smaller molecules. Enzymes are used to transform starch into glucose molecules and glucose into fructose molecules. Lastly, water evaporation results in a concentrated glucose-fructose syrup.
Where and Why is it used?
Glucose-fructose syrups are used in many different food and beverages, mainly for their sweetening power (like sucrose), but also for additional useful properties such as taste, glossiness, improved stability and a longer shelf-life for the food products to which they are added.
In the EU, glucose-fructose syrups are mainly used in confectionery, beverages, jams and preserves, baked goods, cereal products, yogurts and other dairy products, condiments and canned goods. In confectionery, for example, these syrups prevent crystallisation and prevent sweets from sticking to their wrappers. They also bring sweetness, at a level somewhere between glucose syrup and sucrose, depending on the fructose content.
Glucose-fructose syrup comes in liquid form unlike table sugar, which is crystallised. Thus, they are easier to blend with other ingredients in creams, ice creams, drinks and other liquid or semi-liquid foods.
Depending on their composition, they are labelled as glucose-fructose syrup or fructose-glucose syrup in the ingredients list on product packaging.
Glucose-fructose syrup (if the fructose content is between 5% and 50%)
Fructose-glucose syrup (if the fructose content is above 50%)Nutritional Table:
Sugars (under Carbohydrates)