Can corn syrup be substituted with something healthier? Tapioca syrup can be used as a corn syrup substitute. Tapioca and corn syrup are two of the most commonly used sweeteners in the food industry. Although both are plant-based, there are some key differences between the two. Studies show tapioca syrup is a better choice compared to corn syrup.
Reasons Why Tapioca Is Better Than Corn Syrup
Tapioca syrup is derived from the cassava root, a tropical plant native to South America. The root is harvested, washed, and grated to extract the starch. The starch is then processed to produce tapioca syrup.
Meanwhile, corn syrup is derived from cornstarch, which is produced by grinding corn kernels into fine powder. The cornstarch is then processed to make corn syrup.
#2 Nutritional Value
One of the main reasons tapioca syrup is a better choice than corn syrup is its nutritional value. Tapioca syrup contains more nutrients than corn syrup. For instance, tapioca syrup contains vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, and potassium, while corn syrup contains none of these.
Moreover, tapioca syrup contains fewer calories than corn syrup. Tapioca syrup has about 15 calories per teaspoon, while corn syrup has about 20 calories per teaspoon. While the difference may seem trivial, it can add up over time, especially if you consume many sweetened products.
#3 Glycemic Index
Another significant difference between tapioca syrup and corn syrup is their glycemic index. The glycemic index (GI) measures how quickly carbohydrate-containing food raises blood sugar levels. Foods with a high GI are quickly digested and absorbed, rapidly increasing blood sugar levels. On the other hand, foods with low GI are slowly digested and absorbed, resulting in a slower and more sustained increase in blood sugar levels.
Tapioca syrup has a lower glycemic index than corn syrup. This means it is absorbed more slowly and does not cause a sudden spike in blood sugar levels. For this reason, tapioca syrup is a better choice for people with diabetes or those trying to maintain stable blood sugar levels.
The processing of tapioca syrup is less intensive than that of corn syrup. Corn syrup undergoes a series of chemical processes involving enzymes and acids to break down the cornstarch into glucose. This process produces high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), commonly used in the food industry. HFCS has been linked to various health problems like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
In contrast, tapioca syrup is made by boiling cassava starch with water. This process produces a natural sweetener that does not contain any additives or preservatives.
Lastly, tapioca syrup has a milder flavor compared to corn syrup. Corn syrup has a strong, sweet taste that often overpowers other flavors. Tapioca syrup, on the other hand, has a mild, slightly sweet taste that blends well with other ingredients. This makes it a better choice for recipes with subtle sweetness, such as dressings, marinades, and glazes.
Looking for a Corn Syrup Substitute?
Tapioca syrup is a better alternative to corn syrup because of its high nutritional value and low GI. If you are conscious about your health, tapioca syrup is the sweetener for you.
At Vivify, we offer various plant-based ingredient solutions formulated with the perfect balance of flavor and function. Tapioca syrups provide the body and viscosity for your project, making it an essential ingredient to control sucrose crystallization. Contact us to learn more.