Light vs Dark Corn Syrup: Difference and Comparison

Food is the ultimate source of happiness and contentment for human beings. Who could imagine not experimenting with their taste buds nowadays? Experimenting with food takes a lot of effort and patience.

There are tons and tons of cuisines, dishes, food supplements etc. One such food supplement, more precisely a syrup, is Corn Syrup. The syrup is prepared from Corn starch, otherwise known as maize.

Key Takeaways

  1. Light corn syrup is made from cornstarch and glucose, while dark corn syrup is made from molasses and cornstarch.
  2. Light corn syrup is clear and colorless, while dark corn syrup has a deep amber color and a distinct caramel flavor.
  3. Light corn syrup is commonly used in recipes to prevent sugar crystallization, while dark corn syrup is used for its color and flavor in recipes such as pecan pie and caramel sauces.

Light Corn Syrup vs Dark Corn Syrup

Light corn syrup is made of corn starch with a hint of vanilla. It is colorless and mildly sweet, adding no color to the things. Dark corn syrup is also made of corn starch, but it is brown in color and also tastes sweet. Due to sweetness and color it adds to the bakery items like cakes and cookies.

Light Corn Syrup vs Dark Corn Syrup

As the name suggests, light corn syrup has light or no colour to it. It is prepared from corn starch and used in bakery items, confections and savoury dishes. The syrup has a mild and sweet taste.

A hint of vanilla flavour can be found in the light syrup. It has no added sugar except for vanilla and salt. The syrup is added to food items to give an enhancement of texture and a hint of flavour.

On the other hand, dark corn syrup has a deep brown colour. It is also prepared from corn starch and used in various food dishes, just like light syrup. The syrup has more of a toasty taste along with sweetness.

Refiner’s sugar is added to it. It provides a hint of caramel flavour and a brownish colour to the food items.

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Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonLight Corn SyrupDark Corn Syrup
Raw MaterialLight corn syrup is prepared from corn starch. Dark corn syrup is also prepared from corn starch.
ColourIt is light or colourless. It is deep brown in colour.
TasteIt has a light and sweet taste. It has a sweet and intense taste.
FlavourIt has a hint of vanilla flavour. It has a hint of caramel flavour.
IngredientsOnly salt and vanilla flavour are added to it. This corn syrup has molasses, salt, caramel flavour and colour and sodium benzoate added to it.
SugarIt has no added sugar. It has refiner’s sugar added to it.
UsageIt is mainly used in candles and sweets. It is used in cakes and cookies.

What is Light Corn Syrup?

Corn syrup is very popularly used, mainly in American baked dishes, confections etc. The syrup contains maltose and saccharides according to their grade.

Light corn syrup adds a soft texture, volume and a hint of vanilla flavour to the food dishes. Made from corn starch, the syrup is also known as Glucose syrup.

Light corn syrup is clear and colourless. Based on its name, it is known to have a mild sweetness to its taste. It has a high level of fructose content. Along with corn starch, vanilla flavour and salt are used in the preparation of this corn syrup.

This results in a hint of vanilla flavour in the light corn syrup.

The syrup being colourless does not add any colour to the food dishes. Rather, it improves the texture and adds a delicate vanilla flavour to it. Light corn syrup is best for preparing candles and sweets.

As the syrup has no added sugar, it has a very mild sweetness in its taste.

Although there is a resemblance between the preparation of light corn syrup with the preparation of dark corn syrup, the former still stands out due to its unique taste and flavour.

light corn syrup

What is Dark Corn Syrup?

The bakery and confectionery food items have evolved a lot over time in terms of their appearance, flavour and colour. They are now available almost in every possible colour and flavour.

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Dark corn syrup is used for improving the texture and adding an intense flavour and colour to them.

Just like light corn syrup, the dark corn syrup is also prepared from corn starch. It has a high level of molasses content in it. In addition to this, refiner’s sugar and salt are also added to it.

All of these ingredients together provide a strong and intense caramel flavour and sweetness to the syrup. From the molasses, the syrup gets its deep brown colour.

The hint of colour in this syrup gives the baked goods a nice toasty flavour and colour. Because of its intense flavour, dark syrup is mainly used in the preparation of cakes and cookies, unlike light corn syrup.

The caramel flavour of this syrup makes it best for those who love caramel-flavoured food items.

Dark corn syrup, known for its intense taste and flavour, may not be liked by everyone. Some people do not prefer a strong flavour in their food. Despite that, this syrup is used widely and is very popular.

dark corn syrup

Main Differences Between Light and Dark Corn Syrup

  1. Light and Dark corn syrup are prepared from corn starch but differ in other ingredients.
  2. Light syrup is colourless, while dark syrup has a deep brown colour.
  3. The dark syrup has a sweeter and more intense taste as compared to light syrup.
  4. The light syrup has a vanilla flavour, while the dark syrup has a caramel flavour.
  5. Light syrup is used for making sweets and candles, whereas dark syrup is used for making cookies and cakes.
Difference Between Light and Dark Corn Syrup
References
  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2621.1983.tb10764.x
  2. https://www.cerealsgrains.org/publications/cc/backissues/1990/Documents/67_502.pdf

Last Updated : 28 June, 2023

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29 thoughts on “Light vs Dark Corn Syrup: Difference and Comparison”

  1. I had no idea that corn syrup could have such different effects on the texture and flavor of food. This article was eye-opening.

    Reply
  2. This article really broke down the differences between light and dark corn syrup in a comprehensive way. I feel much more knowledgeable about them now.

    Reply
  3. I’m impressed by how much I’ve learned about light and dark corn syrup from this article. The detail and clarity of the information was excellent.

    Reply
  4. The description of light and dark corn syrup was incredibly detailed and insightful. I feel like I’ve gained a lot of knowledge from reading this article.

    Reply
  5. The information about the preparation and ingredients in light and dark corn syrup was very insightful. It’s amazing how much variation there can be in one type of food product.

    Reply
  6. Thank you for this informative article! I especially appreciate the detailed comparison table between light and dark corn syrup.

    Reply
  7. I was impressed by the depth of detail in the description of both light and dark corn syrup. It really gives a clear understanding of their uses.

    Reply
  8. The description of light and dark corn syrup was so clear and detailed. I feel like I’ve learned a lot from this article.

    Reply
  9. The level of detail about the ingredients and uses of light and dark corn syrup in this article was very impressive. I’m glad I read it.

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