What can you use instead of corn syrup?
One of the best replacements for corn syrup is glucose syrup which adds moisture and sweetness in much the same way corn syrup does.
Queen Glucose Syrup (available from Coles and Woolworths RRP $4.50 for 500g) is derived from corn and is perfect for making toffee, caramel, marshmallows and jellies.
But what about baking?
Honey can be used as a substitute for corn syrup in cakes and slices but be mindful that it will change the taste.
If you're using it for baking, you may need to reduce the heat or cooking time slightly as honey will tend to brown more quickly than corn syrup.
Tip: Spotted Gum honey is rich in amino acids and has a more savoury finish, so if you're not a fan of super-sweet but want to replace corn syrup in a recipe, spotted gum may be worth a try.
If the recipe calls for dark corn syrup, substitute it with maple syrup or molasses. The quantity will stay the same but maple and molasses will tend to add extra sweetness.
Just be sure to use pure maple syrup made from the sap of maple trees. Maple-flavoured syrup is a concoction of water and chemicals and won't produce the same results.
Did you know: Dark corn syrup is made in the same way as regular corn syrup with the addition of refiner's sugar which is a type of molasses.
High Fructose Corn Syrup - the risks
Firstly: Corn Syrup and High Fructose Corn Syrup (HCFS) are not the same thing.
Corn syrup is derived from corn starch and HCFS is derived from corn syrup. But the latter has been processed to include fructose whereas corn syrup is pure glucose.
Neither are what you'd call healthy as too much added sugar is known to have an adverse effect on your health, but there was a time when HCFS was singled out as a key culprit in the rise of obesity, diabetes type 2 and other metabolic disorders.
Those claims have since been refuted.
In the UK, HCFS was thought to be banned due to health risks, but current research will tell you it was simply restricted due to production quotas. Regardless of the politics, HCFS is a highly processed ingredient and is therefore best avoided.
Karo, the most popular corn syrup in the US does not contain HCFS and says this; "Since the early 1980s, high fructose corn syrup consumption has tripled and was recently estimated at 30 pounds per person annually. During the same time period, the rate of obesity also increased dramatically. After consumption of high fructose corn syrup hit its highest level between the years of 2000 to 2005, it has more recently declined, yet obesity rates have not. While some researchers feel there is a link between the increase in obesity and high fructose corn syrup consumption, others do not."
Other names for corn syrup
Corn syrup will be called corn syrup or glucose syrup so it's fairly easy to spot on a food label.
However, you won't necessarily see HCFS on an ingredient list because it goes under a few other names.
Glucofructose, isoglucose and glucose-fructose syrup and HCFS are all the same thing and they're all made from corn starch.
Karo Corn Syrup in Australia
Famous as one of the main ingredients in pecan pie, Karo corn syrup has been around since 1902.
The dark and light varieties can be used interchangeably and you can brush it on baked ham or fruit tarts to provide a glaze and use it to make marinades, chutneys, jams and when baking.
And the big question - can you get it in Australia? The answer is yes, via usafoods.com.au. RRP $6.99