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Corn sugar is a natural sweetener that is made utilizing starch that is extracted from kernels of corn. The extracted cornstarch is then refined to create a solid sugar or to make another popular sweetening agent known as corn syrup. Both corn syrup and corn sugar are routinely used in many culinary recipes as well as in the creation of a number of mass-produced food products.
The process for making corn sugar begins with the removal of starchy elements from the corn. The extracted elements are actually glucose, although the refining process will transform them into another form of sugar known as dextrose. At this point, corn syrup and dextrose are 100% glucose. Additional processing of corn syrup with the enzyme Sucrase yields High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS-95), which is used in commercial cooking.
There are different types of sugar available today, each of them varying in texture and the level of sweetness that is provided by a measured amount of the refined product. In the case of corn sugar, this sugar product—slightly yellow and a little larger than most cane sugar products—does not provide the same level of sweetness as the more common granulated sugar. However, corn sugar does help to provide slightly more bulk to various recipes, which sometimes makes it a better option than other sugars. Many experts agree that corn sugar provides a little more than half the sweetness provided by the same amount of white refined sugar.
Corn sugar also tends to be more easily digested than sugars made using sugarcane or beets. In terms of nutritional value, there is no clear indication that corn sugar provides any additional health benefits. Using corn sugar as a means of cutting the sweet taste in recipes is an excellent way to adapt dishes that require a specific amount of sugar for bulk purposes.