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Feb 6, 2009 10:24 AM

invert sugar (glucose) syrup not made from corn?

Does anyone know of a brand name or manufacturer of glucose syrup not made from corn? A commenter on David Lebovitz's blog mentioned wheat based glucose syrup, but she appears to be in France. I havne't turned up anything here in the US, and suspect it's not available--anyone know otherwise?

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  1. glucose syrup can actually be made from any starch source, including wheat, tapioca, potato & rice. most glucose syrup that's sold and/or used in packaged foods in the US is derived from corn, but in places such as the UK, Aus and NZ, it's more common to find wheat-derived glucose syrup in packaged foods.

    however, as far as i know, the only products available to consumers for home use are corn-derived.

    2 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      For pure glucose you need to find a commercial source, with the easiest US source being Karo. You may also find it in health food stores, and baking supply houses (used in making fondant). In small quantities it is sold in pharmacies. And yes, in the USA these are all likely to be from corn starch.

      If you just need a syrup that resists crystallization, you can 'invert' your own sugar syrup. The result will be a mix of sucrose (unsplit), fructose and glucose. See this wiki article.

      1. re: paulj

        Karo has vanilla added to it, doesn't it??? If there is a version of the golden colored Karo without the vanilla I'd like to get a source for it (the purpose I need it for doesn't want the vanilla in there).

    2. What is the difference? It's going to go through the exact same chemical process whether it starts as corn starch or wheat starch.

      But I am honestly curious how you see this because I'm totally confused.

      10 Replies
      1. re: Bryn

        i'm not the OP so i can only guess, but some people have corn allergies, and others prefer not to use products derived from corn in the interest of avoiding GMO's.

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          I can understand anti-GMOs kind of. Like barely. But there is only glucose in invert glucose. No zein proteins. They centrifuge those out. So thus no allergen.

          1. re: Bryn

            Bryn, I don't particularly want to share my medical history here, but suffice it to say I have an adverse reaction when I eat corn syrup.

            1. re: amyzan

              It still isn't clear what you need. Do you need pure glucose, such as for medical purposes or baking, or do you need invert sugar syrup. If the later, consider getting cane base syrup like Lyle's Golden (from the UK) or Steens.

            2. re: Bryn

              [quote] No zein proteins. They centrifuge those out. So thus no allergen.[/quote]
              The immune system is wonderfully/terribly sensitive so your "no allergen" is enough to give amyzan an adverse reaction.

              1. re: rich in stl

                There really shouldn't be any proteins the corn syrup, because even trace amounts of protein in a corn syrup can cause huge problems in processing because of all the available sugar. I'm going to read a couple articles and get back to you all on that.

                Alright. I'll admit I wasn't aware that their centrifugation step wasn't as effective as I thought. The maillard reaction is a big problem in the yellowing of glucose syrups (no matter what the source). So they are trying to find ways to solve that problem.

                I thought this was a spin on the anti-HFCS people and that was the main reason for my scorn.

                1. re: Bryn

                  Having an asthma attack is enough for me to avoid corn syrup. It doesn't really matter whether or not articles support my experience, I still can't breathe well when I eat it. Unfortunately, there's a lot we don't understand about the immune system. I have discussed this with my allergist, trust me. Avoidance is as of yet the safe approach.

                  What I'm looking for is a substitute for corn syrup in baking and cooking, that has the same properties--hygroscopic, shine enhancing, preventing crystallization, etc. I do have Lyle's golden syrup, but it's color makes it a poor sub in some recipes.

                  1. re: amyzan

                    Here. Make your own. This recipe makes a cane sugar based syrup by inverting simple sugar.
                    No need to worry about the chemistry but it works. Make sure that you buy cane sugar, not the unmarked store brands, which are usually beet sugar.

                    1. re: MakingSense

                      Thanks, will bookmark this for Christmas!

              2. re: Bryn

                I just came to this web site trying to find out what "invert sugar" is made from. I just had a bad case of indigestion and suspected some ingredient in the food. Everything in the meal was thing that I have no problem with except I was eating a new package of saltine crackers. When I checked the cracker ingredients, I found a new ingredient "invert sugar". Severe indigestion is the first symptom that I experience from low doses of corn product.

          2. I'm still wondering if anyone has ever seen a clear colored sub for corn syrup for sale in the US? I've not been able to turn up anything not made from corn, and thus allergenic for me.

            5 Replies
            1. re: amyzan

              Well, no idea if they sell to any stores U.S.-based but this one comes from wheat, it says:

              In terms of proximity, you could ask these folks in Fort Wayne, Indiana, if their invert sugar is from corn: (though I figure the odds would be high

              Just to clarify, are you really looking for "sugar syrup" as we might call it in the U.S. - that is, just a liquid form of sugar (sucrose) which would have the normal glucose and fructose components, or are you looking for something that would only have the glucose fraction?

              Because if it's just the former, a way to get it and avoid corn could be just to make your own thick simple syrup from cane sugar. Tons of how-to instructions around the Web for that. Might be worth an experiment.

              Raw agave nectar sold at whole foods is the lightest agave I've seen. It's also hygroscopic, and pretty tasty. But it's reportedly really high in fructose vs. glucose.

              I think a big Asian grocer (or at least some other import store) might be a place to browse, too. For one thing, there's clarified rice syrup - not sure what sugar fractions it actually has, but for a sweet syrup, it's another option.

              1. re: Cinnamon

                I'm looking for a clear colored substitute for corn syrup in candy, sorbet, and ice cream making and baking, that will serve the same purposes--inhibiting crystallization, hygroscopic properties, etc. I've found a few amber colored products which are fine where the finished color doesn't matter--caramel, for instance. I like to make nougats and divinity at Christmas, and have not yet found a product that will perform like corn syrup and is clear in color. I have cane syrup, rice syrup, and agave, and though they're all useful, they're not applicable for say, the nougat or divinity recipes. So, last year, nougats were a lovely ecru!

                1. re: amyzan

                  Hmm... then I'm going to have to recommend at least two international vacations with extra days for perusing gourmet and baking stores - one in Europe and one in South or Central America. That seems like the practical next step.

                  1. re: amyzan

                    I'm not sure why your nougat would emerge off-colored if you used cane syrup.

                    You can make your own invert sugar with cane sugar -- regular table sugar, white or otherwise -- by cooking it for about 7 minutes with an acid. By weight, 2 parts sugar to 1 part water + your acid, which could be a pinch of sour salt, cream of tartar or splash of lemon juice.

                    It's funny, I was actually hoping some darker sources of sugar/invert sugar would make my homemade marshmallows turn out LESS white, but all that whipping = white white candy.

                    1. re: kateblack

                      Maybe your recipe has a higher ratio of sugar to corn syrup?

              2. This is very late to the game, but wanted to post, in case other searchers are still looking. You can buy tapioca syrup on Amazon:


                Shipping is more than the product, but it's not prohibitive, imo.

                I found this thread looking for non-corn derived glucose, then a poster below mentioned tapioca, which sent me on another search, which got the link above. :)

                1. Wheat based glucose syrup, non-gmo even, just search on Amazon, or follow this link: