Just like table sugar (sucrose), glucose – fructose and fructose-glucose syrups are also made up of glucose and fructose.
While table sugar has a fixed proportion of 50% glucose and 50% fructose, the percentage of these molecules in syrups may vary. If a syrup contains more than 50% of fructose, it is called “fructose-glucose syrup” on the packaging. If there is less than 50% fructose in it, it is called “glucose-fructose syrup”. The typical fructose content of such syrups produced in Europe is 20, 30, and 42%.
In the US, the most frequently used fructose content is 55% and these syrups are referred to as High Fructose Corn Syrups (HFCS). The syrups with the fructose content between 42% and 55% have a similar sweetness to table sugar, so this is why they are often used as alternatives to table sugar. The advantage of these syrups is that they come in a liquid form, unlike table sugar which is crystallised. Thus, they are easier to blend with other ingredients in creams, ice creams and drinks.