Corn syrup solids are made from concentrating corn syrup, a liquid sweetener made from corn, to less than 10 percent water. In addition, the glucose content of the syrup must be at least 88 percent by weight to qualify as a corn syrup solid. Corn syrup is partially hydrolyzed liquid corn starch that is made with the addition of the enzymes amylase and glucoamylase, which break the starch down into glucose.
Corn syrup solids are used to manufacture foods that would be impractical to make with liquid sweeteners, such as powdered coffee creamers, powdered drink mixes and dry baby formula. It is also used in processed foods that need added thickness and texture, and it is used as an ingredient to mask unpleasant flavors in pharmaceuticals, such antacids and flu medicine, and as an ingredient in throat lozenges. Corn syrup solids are also used to coat vitamins and pills. These solids come in several different levels of sweetness or dextrose equivalent ratings, which are also used to determine the types of products they are best suited for. Studies show that corn syrup and corn syrup solids are metabolized by the body in the same way, and they may contribute to health issues such as obesity, diabetes and liver disease.