Frequently Asked Questions

Storage

How should Karo® Syrups be stored?

Before or after opening, Karo® Syrups may be stored at room temperature. Storage conditions affect product quality. Light corn syrup may turn slightly yellow with age, but this is normal and won’t affect results.

How long can Karo® Syrups be stored?

Whether previously opened or not, Karo® Syrups are safe to eat for an indefinite period of time. For best results, use by the “Best by” date stamped on the bottle.

Cooking & Preparation

What does corn syrup do besides sweeten?

Corn syrup serves different functions in different types of recipes and in products you purchase.

  • Controls sugar crystallization in candy
  • Prevents the formation of ice crystals in frozen desserts
  • Holds moisture and maintains freshness longer in baked goods
  • Enhances fresh fruit flavor in jams and preserves
  • Sweetens and thickens relishes
  • Balances sweet and sour flavor profiles, in savory dishes
  • Glazes baked ham, barbecued meats, baked vegetables or fresh fruit desserts

Can Karo® Light and Dark Corn Syrups be interchanged in recipes?

Yes! Recipes will typically call for one or the other, but Karo® Light and Dark Corn Syrups can be used interchangeably. The main difference is flavor—light corn syrup will yield a delicate flavor, and dark corn syrup has a more robust flavor and deeper color since it has molasses.

Karo® Lite (reduced calorie) Syrup can be substituted in many recipes calling for light or dark corn syrup, but is not recommended for cereal bars or candy making.

Can corn syrup be substituted for brown sugar or granulated sugar in recipes?

Although corn syrup and granulated sugars are both sweeteners, the added moisture in corn syrup means it isn’t a simple substitution in baked goods, since those recipes demand a balance of dry and wet ingredients. For the best results, follow recipes developed especially for corn syrup. The one exception is for beverages, where you can easily experiment with corn syrup as an alternative to sugar or simple syrup.


Can corn syrup be substituted for honey or molasses?

While acceptable in some recipes, this is generally not recommended, as the finished product will have different flavor characteristics.

Nutrition

What is high fructose corn syrup and how is it different from regular corn syrup?

High fructose corn syrup starts with regular corn syrup, which is modified by further processing and treated with enzymes to break it into two different forms of sweeteners, fructose and glucose.

In contrast, corn syrup is a sweetener derived from fresh corn picked and processed at its peak for flavor and sweetness. This is the ingredient in Karo® Corn Syrups used for baking—Karo® Light, Karo® Dark and Karo® Lite (reduced calorie).


Why do food manufacturers use high fructose corn syrup?

Originally, high fructose corn syrup was developed as a lower-cost substitute for sugar. It is widely used today as a sweetener in beverages, bakery products, yogurts and other products that traditionally had used sugar as a sweetener.


What is the controversy about high fructose corn syrup, and why are so many people avoiding it?

Since the early 1980s, high fructose corn syrup consumption has tripled and was recently estimated at 30 pounds per person annually. During the same time period, the rate of obesity also increased dramatically. After consumption of high fructose corn syrup hit its highest level between the years of 2000 and 2005, it has more recently declined, yet obesity rates have not. While some researchers feel there is a link between the increase in obesity and high fructose corn syrup consumption, others do not.


Do any Karo® Corn Syrups sold in retail stores contain high fructose corn syrup?

Karo® Light, Karo® Dark and Karo® Lite Corn Syrups contain no high fructose corn syrup. Karo® Pancake Syrup does have high fructose corn syrup.

Do other brands of corn syrup currently contain high fructose corn syrup, and if so, how can I tell?

All Karo® Syrups are gluten free and do not contain any high fructose corn syrup. Other brands of corn syrup can contain high fructose corn syrup. To know for sure, look at the product’s ingredient list. Karo® also makes it easy to see by calling out “0 grams High Fructose Corn Syrup” on the front of the label.


What is the gluten status of Karo®?

All Karo® Syrups are gluten free and are produced in a facility free of gluten.


Does “light” mean Karo® Light Corn Syrup contains fewer calories? Is light corn syrup the same as “white” corn syrup?

The clear Karo® Corn Syrup has been called “light” since the 1940s, before “light” became a popular description for reduced-calorie products. The term “light” in this case refers to the color, and not the number of calories. Consumers may also refer to light corn syrup as “white” corn syrup.

The terms “light” and “dark” refer to the differences in the colors of Karo® Syrups. Both types have the same number of calories (60 calories per tablespoon), and both are fat-free and cholesterol-free foods. For nutrient information on the products, visit the nutrition section on the Products page.


Is there a reduced-calorie version available?

For those looking for fewer calories, Karo® Lite Syrup is available. This contains 33% fewer calories than regular corn syrup and has no high fructose corn syrup.

When making candy or cereal bars, it is best to use regular Karo® Dark or Karo® Light Corn Syrup.

Ingredients

What is corn syrup?

Corn syrup is a mildly sweet syrup derived from corn starch. Its main function in recipes is to provide sweetness and moisture, and to prevent the crystallization of sugar. It provides a smooth texture to cooked sweets, such as candies, as well as no-bake recipes, such as ice cream.


Is high fructose corn syrup the same as corn syrup?

No. High fructose corn syrup and corn syrup are different products. When Karo® was introduced in 1902, it did not contain high fructose corn syrup. In the 1970s, high fructose corn syrup was added to the Karo® Light, Karo® Dark and Karo® Pancake Syrups. In response to consumer requests, high fructose corn syrup was removed from Karo® Light and Karo® Dark. Karo® Lite (reduced calorie) Corn Syrup was never made with high fructose corn syrup.


What is molasses syrup? Why is it used in Karo® Dark Corn Syrup?

Molasses is a liquid sweetener derived from sugarcane. It gives Karo® Dark Corn Syrup its rich, complex flavor and dark color.


When was the ingredient vanilla added to Karo® Light Corn Syrup?

Vanilla has always been an ingredient in Karo® Light Corn Syrup. It gives extra smoothness and richness to the flavor.

Does Karo® Corn Syrup contain any allergens?

All Karo® Syrup products are free of gluten, wheat, fish, shellfish, soy, milk, egg, peanuts, tree nuts and sesame.


Are Karo® Corn Syrups derived from GMO ingredients?

Karo® Syrups are made using GMO ingredients.


Where is the corn grown that is used in Karo® Syrups?

The corn is grown in the U.S.

General Info

Should Karo® Syrups be used for infant feeding?

We are aware that some health care professionals suggest feeding Karo® Corn Syrups to infants in a formula or for relief of constipation. Because corn syrup, like many other foods, is not a sterile product, there is a remote possibility that it may contain C. botulinum spores.

These spores are common in the environment and generally not harmful to older children and adults. In fact, in the FDA study conducted in 1991, corn syrup and other syrups are not identified as food sources of C. botulinum spores for infants.

However, because Karo® Corn Syrups are not specifically intended for infant feeding, we suggest you consult your pediatrician for advice.

How do I adjust recipes for a convection oven?

It is easy to convert standard baking time into convection baking time. You have two choices: 1) lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees and bake for the same amount of time OR 2) shorten baking time by about 20 percent and keep the oven temperature as called for in the recipe.

Where To Buy

Where can Karo® Corn Syrups be purchased?

Karo® is available at many stores and online retailers. Sometimes, store space and consumer demand limit the number of items a retailer carries. If your favorite retailer doesn’t carry your favorite product or size, you can always email us or ask the store manager to carry it.

Karo Pancake Syrup

Can Karo® Pancake Syrup be used in cooking?

Karo® Pancake Syrup can be brushed onto baked ham, barbecued meats, baked vegetables or fresh fruit as an ideal glaze, and can be poured over waffles, hot cereal and pancakes. It may be used in any recipe that calls for light or dark corn syrup and will add a maple flavor to the finished dish, perfect for pecan pie, baked beans and even frosting.

Visit our Recipes section for delicious classic and contemporary recipes using Karo® Pancake Syrup.


Is Karo® Pancake Syrup interchangeable with Karo® Light or Dark Corn Syrups in recipes?

Karo® Pancake Syrup contains maple syrup flavor, but will perform similarly in recipes and may be substituted in baked goods. Go with your own taste preferences for when to substitute.

Karo® Light Corn Syrup is used when a delicately sweet flavor and color are desired, such as in fruit sauces, jams and baked goods.

Karo® Dark Corn Syrup, with its rich brown color and more robust flavor color, is ideal for many baked goods.

Karo® Pancake Syrup offers a golden brown color with a delicious maple flavor, making it a delicious topping for pancakes, waffles, French toast and biscuits. It imparts an appetizing color when brushed onto ribs on the grill or ham during the last half-hour of roasting; and gives appetizing flavor and color when spooned or poured over baked acorn squash and sweet potatoes.


Can Karo® Pancake Syrup be substituted for brown or granulated sugar in recipes?

Although corn syrup and granulated sugars are both sweeteners, the added moisture in corn syrup means it isn’t a simple substitution in baked goods, since those recipes demand a balance of dry and wet ingredients. For the best results, follow recipes developed especially for corn syrup. The one exception is for beverages, where you can easily experiment with corn syrup as an alternative to sugar or simple syrup. Follow recipes specifically developed for corn syrup or pancake syrup.

Can Karo® Pancake Syrup be substituted for maple syrup, honey or molasses?

Karo® Pancake Syrup can be equally substituted for maple syrup, honey or molasses in most recipes and when used as a topping. Recipes using Karo® Pancake Syrup will not be as sweet, and the finished products will have different flavor characteristics.


What is Karo® Pancake Syrup?

Karo® Pancake Syrup is a naturally thick maple flavor pancake and waffle topping made of corn syrup, caramel color, salt, potassium sorbate (to protect quality), natural and artificial colors. For nutrient information on Karo® Pancake Syrup, visit our Nutrition Facts section.


Where can Karo® Pancake Syrup be purchased?

Karo® Pancake Syrup is available at many stores and online retailers. Sometimes, store space and consumer demand limit the number of items a retailer carries. If your favorite retailer doesn’t carry this item, you can always email us or ask the store manager to carry it.