High-maltose corn syrup

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High-maltose corn syrup is a food additive used as a sweetener and preservative. The majority sugar is maltose. It is less sweet than high-fructose corn syrup[1] and contains little to no fructose.[1] It is sweet enough to be useful as a sweetener in commercial food production, however.[2] To be given the label "high", the syrup must contain at least 50% maltose.[3] Typically, it contains 40–50% maltose, though some have as high as 70%.[4][5]

By using β-amylase or fungal α-amylase, glucose syrups containing over 50% maltose, or even over 70% maltose (extra-high-maltose syrup) can be produced.[6]p. 465 This is possible because these enzymes remove two glucose units, that is, one maltose molecule at a time from the end of the starch molecule.


High-maltose glucose syrup is used as a substitute for normal glucose syrup in the production of hard candy: at a given moisture level and temperature, a maltose solution has a lower viscosity than a glucose solution, but will still set to a hard product. Maltose is also less humectant than glucose, so that candy produced with high-maltose syrup will not become sticky as easily as candy produced with a standard glucose syrup.[7]p. 81

Since maltose has a low freezing point, HMCS is useful in frozen desserts.[8][not in citation given] It is also used in brewing, because it has a balanced fermentability, can be added at high concentrations to the wort kettle, increasing throughput, and reduces haze caused by varying malt quality.[2] Another of HMCS's uses is to preserve food. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, HMCS preserves food by inhibiting fermentation and bacterial growth.[9]

Health effects[edit]

In recent years, HMCS has seen an increase in use as a food additive due to the negative reputation of HFCS, as well as the absence of fructose, which is the source of the concern about the health effects of high-fructose corn syrup.

High-maltose syrups produced from corn are gluten-free, but certain syrups produced from wheat or barley may contain small amounts of gluten.[10][11] It is unclear whether this can have significant effects in celiac disease.

As a sugar, maltose can have harmful dental effects if teeth are not cleaned properly following consumption.[8][not in citation given]


  1. ^ a b Y. H. Hui, ed. (2006). Bakery products: science and technology (1st ed.). Ames (Iowa): Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-8138-0187-2. 
  2. ^ a b Hull, Peter (2010). Glucose syrups: technology and applications. Chichester, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell Pub. p. 80. ISBN 978-1-4051-7556-2. 
  3. ^ Panesar, Parmjit S. (2010). Enzymes in food processing: fundamentals and potential applications. [S.l.]: I K International. p. 184. ISBN 93-8002-633-1. 
  4. ^ McPherson, Andrew (2005). Ingredient interactions: effects on food quality. CRC Press. p. 172. ISBN 1-4200-2813-8. 
  5. ^ Hui, Yiu H. Handbook of food science, technology, and engineering, Volume 4. p. xxiv. 
  6. ^ Sang Ki Rhee; Alexander Steinbüchel (2005). Polysaccharides and Polyamides in the Food Industry: Properties, Production, and Patents. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. ISBN 3-527-31345-1. 
  7. ^ Peter Hull (2010). Glucose Syrups: Technology and Applications. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 1-4051-7556-7. 
  8. ^ a b "What Is High Maltose Corn Syrup?". Retrieved 14 August 2011. 
  9. ^ "What Is High Maltose Corn Syrup?". The Healthy Apron. 
  10. ^ Scientific Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (15 February 2007). "Opinion of the Scientific Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies on a request from the Commission related to a notification from Finnsugar Ltd on glucose syrups produced from barley starch pursuant to Article 6, paragraph 11 of Directive 2000/13/EC" (PDF). The EFSA Journal. 456: 1–6. 
  11. ^ Iametti, Stefania; Cappelletti, Chiara; Oldani, Antonio; Scafuri, Laura; Bonomi, Francesco (1 January 2004). "Improved Protocols for ELISA Determination of Gliadin in Glucose Syrups". Cereal Chemistry. 81 (1): 15–18. doi:10.1094/CCHEM.2004.81.1.15.