Liquid glucose is a clear or light yellow syrup derived from corn, grapes or honey. Liquid glucose is regularly available in Europe, though less common in the United States. The syrup is similar to light corn syrup and is used in many of the same applications, especially in the processed food industry. Liquid glucose has high viscosity and a low freezing point and does not crystallise like granular sugar.
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Liquid glucose's low freezing point makes it ideal for use in ice cream, making the ice cream smoother and the mix more stable. Some candies, most notably nougats, fudge, hard candies, gum, caramel and marshmallow, are made with liquid glucose because it prevents crystallisation, reduces browning of the sugars and produces a clear product. For breads, liquid glucose provides a fermentable carbohydrate, useful, for example, in sourdough applications. Liquid glucose is also used in soft drinks, especially diet sodas, in order to improve flavour and mouth feel and to control the level of sweetness of the drink.
Chemical and Pharmaceutical Uses
In the chemistry industry, liquid glucose in its raw form is used as a base to create gluconic, citric and kojic acids, which are then used in a variety of applications. In the medicine-making process, liquid glucose is useful as a sweetener for syrups and tonics. It is also used to coat tablets for ease of swallowing and as a granulating agent. Liquid glucose can also be used as a medication for diabetic patients with a very low blood sugar level. Ingested orally or through injection, liquid glucose can raise blood sugar immediately.
Other Industrial Uses
Liquid glucose is used in the tobacco industry to assist in the curing of and to lend flavour to tobacco. Shoe polish may have liquid glucose added to it in order to heighten the shine the polish gives to shoes and to prevent caking of the polish. In tanning, liquid glucose is used to promote flexibility of animal leathers.
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