The other day, a coworker asked me about high maltose corn syrup. She found the ingredient in her Fiber One bar and was curious about what this ingredient was. Should we avoid it like high fructose corn syrup, she asked?
High maltose corn syrup is a food additive used to sweeten foods and increase shelf life. Chemically, high maltose corn syrup is similar to high fructose corn syrup, and is typically created from genetically modified corn. In comparison to table sugar, corn is much cheaper and more convenient for food manufacturers to use, so MOST processed foods contain some form of corn syrup. Go ahead, check some of the labels in your pantry, I guarantee you will find at least ONE product with corn syrup in the ingredient list!
High maltose corn syrup, corn syrup solids, high fructose corn syrup, and maltodextrin are all similar ingredients, each produced in a wide variety of applications or formulations. While high fructose corn syrup is a combination of fructose and glucose, used as a sweetener and preservative, high maltose corn syrup ”improves shelf life and inhibits fermentation and bacterial growth,” according to CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest).
High maltose corn syrup can be found in candies, baked goods, puddings, teas, coffee, beer, powdered drinks, in sauces and dressing as a thickening agent, and as the base of some artificial sweeteners. Although there are no definitive studies about the use of high maltose corn syrup being as harmful as high fructose corn syrup, it’s still probably wise to use caution when consuming this ingredient, until MORE research is conducted.
As a Nation, we consume far too many corn products. According to Visual Economics website (their sources seemed reliable), Americans consume approximately 42 lbs of corn syrup and 56 lbs of corn each year. Those numbers reflect the corn we consume from ALL foods. You see, corn is used in EVERYTHING and if you don’t believe me, read the book, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollen (extremely fascinating). Those corn stats are based on corn consumption through everything from feed, ethanol, corn syrup, glucose, starches, cereals, and alcohol. Whoa. I think we need to cut back!
In general, our main goal is to consume LESS processed foods. Whether the product contains high fructose corn syrup or high maltose corn syrup, know that the product you are buying or consuming is processed, contains added sugars, and that there is probably a better option, like WHOLE foods!! Until further research is provided, I would suggest limiting products with this ingredient as much as possible.
Question: Have you heard of high maltose corn syrup? Any other information to share or link? I would love to read it!Print