Can corn syrup go bad? (1 key tip)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, can corn syrup go bad? We will discuss the factors that make corn syrup go bad. We will also shed light on how to tell if corn syrup has gone bad and some of its characteristics.

Can corn syrup go bad?

Corn syrup can go bad as bacteria manifest on the syrup, form colonies, and produce toxins. However, foods with extreme domains, in this case, sweetness, hinders bacterial growth.

Sugar binds the water molecules to itself which, reduces the active water molecules. As the active water molecules are not present, corn syrup will not attract bacteria. However, corn syrup is susceptible to mold and consequent cloudy haze.

The criterion for a food item to spoil; lies in the moisture content. The unavailability of active water means that corn syrup lasts for quite a long time and is not susceptible to bacteria.

Corn syrup will go bad if you do not store it properly. You introduce contaminants if you do not tighten the lid of the corn syrup bottle and expose it to contaminants. 

How to tell if the corn syrup has spoiled?

To tell if the corn syrup has spoiled, examine its appearance. As corn syrup spoils, it develops an off-odor. The color changes and assumes a yellow ting, but that alone does not mean that the corn syrup has spoiled. 

Sometimes a cloudy haze appears that indicates the onset of mold formation. As moisture makes its way into the bottle, you will start to notice such changes. A bubbly and foamy appearance means that you must throw the corn syrup instead of using it. 

More often than not, contamination can occur when you accidentally introduce food particles in the bottle. A process called fermentation occurs and produces bubbles and foam.

In some rare cases, the smell of the syrup changes. A change in smell is also a result of a fermentation reaction. You may notice an alcohol-like or bitter smell that indicates mold formation.

The best buy date is not always an indicator of the guarantee or safety of food. If the corn syrup was handled properly, it will last for more than 6 months after opening the bottle. 

Corn syrup does not need refrigeration after being opened. You will need to store it in a cool and dry place away from sunlight to prolong the shelf- life.

How is corn syrup made?

Corn syrup is a sweetener made from corn. An enzyme reaction helps to break down the sugars. The enzyme acts on glucose in corn and changes to fructose to make the sweet and sticky substance that we know as corn syrup.

Corn syrup is used as a cheap alternative to sugar as a sweetening agent. It is also used as a humectant to preserve moisture in food.

There are two kinds of corn syrup; light corn syrup and dark corn syrup.

Light corn syrup is translucent and has a moderately sweet taste. Dark corn syrup is very much sweeter; in comparison to light corn syrup. It has a dark color because it has added molasses and caramel that causes the sweetness level to be significantly high.

What are the uses of corn syrup?

Light syrup is used for baking, while the heavy syrup is used in candies. For sweetness and moisture retention, the light syrup is used in homemade candies. In frozen foods, such as ice creams, corn syrups are used to prevent the formation of ice crystals. For use in jams and jellies, it not only acts as a sweetener but a thickener as well.

Corn syrup is used in processed, sugary food and drinks such as soda, Candy, Salad Dressing, canned Fruit, and juice. Corn syrup is a flexible additive that does not crystalize when heated. Corn syrup is used for products that need to be preserved or shipped; quite conveniently.

Why do you need to avoid corn syrup?

Corn syrup is harmful to health. As a processed sugar, it can cause diabetes, strokes, and high blood pressure.

A diet high in processed sugars is also related to dementia, cancer, hypertension, and Alzheimer’s. Corn syrup is high in fructose that is detrimental to health and metabolism. 

Fructose metabolizes in the liver and causes lipogenesis. The high-calorie content in corn syrup is related to an array of health conditions and obesity. Corn syrup has made its way into the diets of many people and children as processed sugar.

Healthy alternatives to corn syrup include brown rice syrup, golden syrup, and honey. Your best interest is to cut back on sugar depending on age, lifestyle, and health.

In this brief guide, we answered the question, can corn syrup go bad? We discussed the factors that make corn syrup go bad. We also shed light on how to tell if corn syrup has gone bad and some of its characteristics.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.