What Is Corn Syrup?

Corn syrup, a viscous sweet syrup produced by breaking down (hydrolyzing) cornstarch, either by heating it with a dilute acid or by combining it with enzymes. (Cornstarch is a product of corn [maize].) Corn syrup is sometimes also called glucose syrup, which is also made from the hydrolysis of starch but not necessarily cornstarch; wheat, potatoes, rice, and other plants can serve as starch sources.

Corn syrup is sold commercially as either light or dark corn syrup. Light corn syrup has been clarified and decolorized; it is used in baked goods, jams and jellies, and many other food products. Because it does not crystallize when heated, it is particularly valued as an ingredient in candies. Dark corn syrup is made by combining corn syrup with molasses and caramel colouring and is sweeter than light corn syrup. Dark corn syrup is used in the same ways as light but when a darker colour and more distinctive flavour are desired; it is also used as a table syrup.

Corn syrup is used in the production of high-fructose corn syrup, in which glucose is changed to fructose through the addition of an enzyme called D-xylose isomerase. High-fructose corn syrup is widely used in the food industry, notably in the manufacture of soft drinks, because it is considerably cheaper than sucrose.

Why does it matter?Profitable Manufacturing Business Ideas

India’s maize production in 2016-17 is forecast at 25 million tonnes, up from 21.8 million the year before. Indian maize exports are set to rise to 700,000 tonnes from 500,000. The country also is set to export 50,000 tonnes of sorghum, down from 63,000 the year before.

The demand for maize is spiralling in India. Historically, demand for the grain has been driven by the poultry and starch industries. But with changing food habits, the demand for food additives derived from maize is also growing. India can double its maize production to 50 million tones (MT) by 2025 to meet the rising domestic demand of the crop. About 64 per cent of the total maize production is used for poultry feed, followed by 16 per cent for human consumption.

There are many companies across the length and breadth of the country that contribute to the overall corn starch production. Along with corn starch, these companies produce several by products including liquid glucose, corn gluten, corn feed, corn germ and others which too are further refined and sold to various kinds of industries for their respective uses.

Corn Glucose (Glucose Syrup)

Corn glucose, also referred to as glucose syrup, is a food syrup obtained by the hydrolysis of corn starch. It is mainly a concentrated source of calories with very little nutritional value. Over the past several years, corn glucose has emerged as a popular substitute for sugar. The demand of corn glucose in the food processing industry has also witnessed strong growth in the last few years. It is principally used as a key ingredient in commercially prepared foods for enhancing flavour, improving colour, adding volume and providing a smooth texture to the food. As it helps in preventing crystallization of sugar, corn glucose is extensively used in confectionery, jams, tinned fruits, ice cream, sorbets, beverages, dairy desserts, biscuits, pastry, cereals, ketchup, sauces, vitamin tonics and cough medication. The global corn glucose market reached a volume of around 3.5 Million Tons in 2017, representing a CAGR of 1.2% during 2010-2017.

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a liquid sweetener which is also an alternative to sucrose used in foods and beverages industry. High fructose corn syrup is made from corn using a process called wet milling. It holds around nine percent of overall global sweeteners market. High fructose corn syrup is used in place of sucrose in the foods and beverages industry. It is derived as a liquid sweetener from corn syrup using a process called wet milling. High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) accounts for a share of 9% in the global sweeteners market.

HFCS exhibits better stability and works well in acidic beverages that are available in liquid state. This ensures easy transport and handling of HFCS. Also it renders the substance better miscibility than granulated sucrose.

Growing demand for low sugar foods and rising awareness regarding ill effects of diabetes is driving market growth. The growing demand for products containing low-calorie sweeteners derived from natural ingredients coupled with the rising awareness among the population regarding the adverse effects of excessive sugar consumption has increased the emphasis on low glycemic index.

High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)  

The use of this syrup as an alternative to sucrose (cane sugar) is the primary factor driving the growth of the global HFCS market. It is expected that HFCS will overtake cane sugar as a sweetener in the following years, as it is cost-effective and sweeter in comparison to glucose. As a result of these qualities, the demand for HFCS is expected to intensify over the forthcoming years.

Corn Oil

Corn is one of the most popular feed, food and industrial cereal. Corn flour, corn oil, popcorn, corn syrup, corn soap are some of the most common corn products consumed worldwide. Corn oil is primarily used as a cooking medium in food industry and for manufacturing hydrogenated oil. In 2013, corn oil was the fastest growing feedstock for biodiesel production in the world. Corn is one of the most widely grown crop. Thus easy availability of raw material at lower price is supporting the market growth across the globe.

Corn oil market has been segmented on the basis of Edible and non-edible corn oil. Among both of these segment non edible segment is expected to show robust growth over the forecast period.