Label Decoder: High Maltose Corn Syrup

You've probably seen high maltose corn syrup listed on food labels before, even if you don't quite remember where. Did you know high maltose corn syrup is a close cousin to the infamous high fructose corn syrup? Numerous questions are probably swirling in your head right now. Luckily, we'll tell you all about it. Read on to get the scoop (literally; it's found in ice cream).

Related To:

You've probably seen high maltose corn syrup when scanning food labels before, even if you don't quite remember where. Did you know it's a close cousin to the infamous high-fructose corn syrup? Read on to get the scoop (literally, it's found in ice cream) on this common ingredient.

What is it?

High maltose corn syrup is a sugar additive that’s used to improve shelf life and prevent bacterial growth. It has slight chemical differences from maltodextrin and corn syrup solids (two other common sweeteners) -- though all three are similar. To create high maltose corn syrup, food scientists add enzymes or acids to cornstarch, which creates a maltose-rich syrup. (Not to be even more sciencey, but maltose is the sugar that forms when two glucose units combine.)

Where is it found?

Check the labels on packaged ice cream, candy and even beer next time you go shopping -- that's where high maltose corn syrup usually hangs out.

Any risks?

High maltose corn syrup is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration. Our bodies easily digest and absorb the additive. With high-fructose corn syrup facing a lot of criticism from the public and food advocates, many food companies have turned to high maltose corn syrup instead. Thing is -- they have to use more because high maltose syrup is not as sweet.

As always, moderation is key. Occasional consumption of high maltose corn syrup -- or its slightly sweeter cousin high-fructose corn syrup -- won't hurt you.  If you’re looking to cut calories to help slim down, eliminating high maltose corn syrup from your diet is a good place to start. It's commonly found in high sugar and high fat foods anyway.

Next Up

DIY Ice Cream Bar Ideas to Make Now

Get sweet satisfaction on a stick.

Here’s the Scoop on Homemade Frozen Treats: DIY Ice Cream, Sorbet and Sherbet

Give homemade frozen treats a try with these recipes for ice cream, sorbet and sherbet. Stars like Ree Drummond give you recipes that come out fruity, extra-chocolatey and absolutely delicious.

Gelato vs. Ice Cream: What's the Difference?

One is American and one is Italian. The differences don't stop there.

Salt & Straw Launches Line of Vegetable-Flavored Ice Cream

This might be the perfect excuse to have ice cream for dinner.

Oscar Mayer Is Making a Hot Dog-Flavored Freezer Pop

The Cold Dog is said to be 'refreshing' and 'smoky' with 'umami notes of Oscar Mayer’s iconic wiener.'

Klondike Is Giving Fans One Last Shot at Snagging a Choco Taco

The brand is sponsoring a digital scavenger hunt to distribute its small remaining stash of the recently discontinued treat.

My Dive Into the Dizzying, Delightful World of Korean Frozen Desserts

After years away from it, I ventured back into H Mart's Korean ice cream bar aisle with a mission to taste it all.

What Ben Van Leeuwen Can't Live Without in His Kitchen

Like his famous ice creams, the co-founder keeps it simple without sacrificing quality.

Is There Hope for the Now Discontinued Choco Taco?

Klondike has confirmed plans to kill the nostalgic frozen treat. But a handful of people are willing to save it.