Can I Have Glucose Syrup On A Vegan Diet?
If you’ve ever looked at the ingredients on the back of your favourite baked goods, you might have seen that glucose syrup is in a lot, but is this syrup vegan-friendly?
Glucose syrup is vegan friendly since it consists of just sugar and water, it is however important to check that the rest of the ingredients in your baked goods are vegan too.
Down below, we’ve discussed in more detail what glucose syrup is made of, types of glucose syrup, how to avoid it and some vegan alternatives to sweeten goods.
What Is Glucose Syrup Made Of?
Before we get into more detail about glucose syrup and if it’s any good for you, let’s discuss exactly what glucose syrup is first and how it is made.
Glucose syrup is typically found in baked goods such as cookies and cakes and is considered a natural sweetener since it is made from regular sugar, it is made by breaking down the molecules of glucose in starchy foods.
It’s a great energy source for the body and appears as a thick syrup, the type of sugar syrup also does not crystallize. It has a proportion of dextrose no less than 20.0% m/m.
Types Of Glucose Syrup
When glucose syrup is produced it comes in two main types –
- High-maltose glucose syrup – This is made with an enzyme called amylase and is 70% maltose, it keeps food dry and is not as sweet as standard table sugar.
- Confectioners sugar – The type of syrup consists of a formula of glucose; 19% glucose, 14% maltose, 11% maltotriose and the rest carbs, it is produced by acid hydrolysis.
How To Avoid Glucose Syrup
Glucose syrup should be consumed in moderation since it is very high in sugar, too much can be dangerous for the body and lead to harsh glucose spikes.
If you would prefer to keep glucose syrup out of your vegan sweets, we’ve listed some tips for avoiding glucose syrup down below.
- Check ingredients – Glucose syrup can be listed under other names such as glucose on product labels, we would also suggest avoiding the high fructose form of sugar syrup since this is bad for your health.
- Look for sweeteners – Artificial sweetener in baked goods might be a better option for you if you are trying to cut down on sugar for your blood sugar levels, some names are stevia and xylitol which are plant-based ingredients and vegan too!
- Avoid processed foods – Glucose syrup is mainly found in processed foods, this could be sodas, pieces of bread and biscuits, therefore stick to whole foods to try and avoid this.
Vegan Alternatives To Glucose Syrup
If you want to try and avoid glucose syrup in your food and you are curious about other simple sugar syrups, we’ve listed some other vegan syrups you can often find used as sweeteners in foods below.
- Maple syrup – Maple syrup is made from the sap of maple trees and is a great alternative to glucose syrup and is most of the time vegan, just make sure to watch out for any blended version with honey.
- Molasses – This sweetener is made from refining sugar cane, it is a dark syrup with a very sweet taste and is vegan.
- Barley malt sugar – Barley malt sugar is vegan but not gluten-free, this syrup is half as sweet as regular sugar and thick malt-tasting syrup.
- Corn syrup – Corn syrup is both vegan and gluten-free, it is made from the starch extraction of corn, and it should be consumed in moderation since it is high in sugar.
- Brown rice syrup – Made from cooked rice starch, brown rice syrup is very high in sugar but both vegan and gluten-free.
- Coconut regular sugar – Coconut sugar is a great natural alternative to simple table sugar and comes from the sap of a coconut palm tree, suitable for vegans.
- Beetroot sugar – Comes from a sugar beet where the root is very concentrated in sucrose.
Frequently Asked Questions About Glucose Syrup Being Vegan
Is glucose syrup bad for blood sugar levels?
Glucose syrup can indeed spike blood sugar levels directly, this could lead to a high blood glucose level spike and a hike in blood sugar which could lead to potential weight gain.
What are the types of natural sweetener?
Some types of plant-based sweetener are stevia, maple syrup and brown rice syrup.
Are there any benefits of glucose syrup?
The benefits of glucose include it being a preservative, it is also a flavor enhancer for foods and provides an instant source of energy for the body, it can also help to raise blood sugar levels quickly.
What is the structure of glucose?
Glucose is made from a group of the simplest carbohydrates and has a formula of C6H12O6.
Where does rice malt sugar come from?
Rice malt sugar is made from the cooked starch of rice.
What does the term dextrose mean?
Dextrose is another term for simple sugar which is identical to corn syrup.
Is sugar made from animal bones?
Generic sugar which is white is not made from animals but some types are filtered through the bone chars of animals during the refining process, to avoid this, vegans need to make sure the sugar manufacturers list the sugar as organic and vegan.
Overall, Glucose syrup is vegan since it’s essentially made out of sugar and water from starch molecules, this is a primary source of sweetener in most baked goods to enhance flavour and preserve.
We would suggest having this simple sugar syrup in moderation to avoid spiking your blood sugar levels too much or look for stevia in baked goods instead as an alternative natural product.