Glucose Syrups

What is it?

Glucose syrups are plant-based ingredients used in food. They are sugars from the carbohydrates family.

They are derived from cereals (mainly wheat and maize) in the EU.

In food, glucose syrups are mainly used for the texture, taste and glossiness they bring to food products.

Glucose syrups are available in the form of a viscous clear colourless, sweet-tasting liquid. They have a calorific value similar to all other carbohydrates: 4 kcal/g.

Glucose syrups are obtained primarily from starch, through a process that uses water and enzymes to break down carbohydrates into smaller molecules. In short, enzymes are added to break down the starch molecules – long chains of bound glucose molecules – into shorter chains. As a result of this process, a mix of sugars is produced (glucose syrups).

Where and Why is it used?

Many culinary specialities benefit from the functional benefits of glucose syrups. Glucose syrups play a vital role in bakery products (such as pastries, macaroons, cakes…) and confectionery products (such as sweets, gums, jellies…).

Glucose syrups providetexture, volume, taste, glossiness, improved stability and a longer shelf-life for the products to which they are added. In confectionery, glucose syrups are essential ingredients enabling the producer to balance or control very precisely the viscosity of the sweets, both for industrial reasons and for product quality reasons. In ice creams, they enhance the smoothness and bring texture to the finished products.

Glucose syrups are also a key ingredient in soft drinks, sports drinks, jams and sauces.

As they are clear colourless and viscous they are easier to dose and to blend with other ingredients in creams, ice creams, drinks and other liquid or semi-liquid foods.

It may also bring energetic content and low sweetening properties – glucose syrups have a lower sweetening power than sucrose.

Sugars – including glucose syrups – must be indicated and explicitly named in the ingredients list of a food product. Whenever glucose syrups are used in a food product, the ingredient list will mention “glucose syrup”.


Ingredient family

Starch-based sugars

Energy value

4 kcal/g


Ingredients List: Glucose Syrup

Nutritional Table: Sugars (under Carbohydrates)

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