Corn syrup is a popular liquid sweetener. In fact, it is one of the most widely used liquid sweeteners in the food industry, appearing in everything from sodas and candies to bread and salad dressings.
Outside of the food industry, this popular sweetener is used in many baked goods and homemade candies, so it is a staple within many pantries.
If you do not use it often, however, the bottle may end up in the back of your cabinet, leaving you wondering whether or not it is still good to use.
The following information will guide you through the common shelf life of corn syrup, its proper storage technique, and uses for the product.
Here’s the deal: Luckily, corn syrup has a pretty long shelf life and can be kept at room temperature before and after opening. Expect corn syrup to last for a few years before opening, and about 6 months after.
What Is The Shelf Life Of Corn Syrup?
Corn syrup can last for several years when the container has not been opened. Even when open, corn syrup is made with preservatives and is packaged in such a way that makes it retain a fresh quality for at least 6 months.
Most corn syrup will indicate an expiration date on its packaging. While it may be perfectly safe to use the syrup after this date, its quality may lessen.
If the corn syrup’s expiration date has passed, it may be best to discard the product. Or, if its flavor and consistency have changed, proceed with caution. If the color or taste has changed significantly, you may not want to risk consuming it.
Even if the corn syrup is slightly past its expiration date, if it looks and smells normal, it is probably fine to use. It may have just lost some of its flavor, quality, and consistency.
Some brands, such as Karo Syrups, indicate that corn syrup can be used indefinitely without any negative side effects, though it is encouraged to use by the printed expiration date for quality reasons.
How To Store Corn Syrup
Corn syrup is stored similarly to how you would store other liquid sweeteners, such as maple syrup or honey.
Corn syrup can remain at room temperature, even after it has been opened. It does not need to be refrigerated. In fact, refrigerating your corn syrup may make the consistency too thick.
Remember: keep corn syrup out of heat or direct sunlight, as this will change the consistency. The preferred method of storing corn syrup is in a pantry or cupboard. In these conditions, it will be good for up to 6 months after it has been opened.
How Does Corn Syrup Go Bad?
When bacteria grow on an organic substance, it can make the item spoil. At this point, it may be harmful to eat. Fortunately, sugary substances like corn syrup make it difficult for bacteria to grow, as bacteria have difficulty multiplying in a sugary environment.
If corn syrup does spoil, it is usually because it was stored improperly, such as being kept in too warm of conditions or in direct sunlight.
It is important to note that light corn syrup will slightly yellow with age, though this will not necessarily mean it has gone bad.
Corn syrup is produced with preservatives and in such a way that it will take a very long time before it truly is bad to consume.
How Is Corn Syrup Used?
Corn syrup is a versatile liquid sweetener, making it useful in many products. Even though corn syrup was not introduced to the food industry until the 1970s, it is now widely used as a sweetener.
Corn syrup does not crystalize when heated, making it a great option for preserving, shipping, and making into products. It is used in the following popular products:
- Salad Dressing
- Canned Fruit
- Jams and Jellies
For homemade products, corn syrup is more commonly used for the following foods::
- Adds sweetness and consistency in homemade candies
- Provides moisture and richness in baked goods
- Prevents formation of ice crystals in frozen goods
- Thickens and sweetens jellies and jams
- Corn syrup is a versatile liquid sweetener used in many products.
- Corn syrup has a very long shelf life and can even be used indefinitely if stored properly.
- While corn syrup can be used beyond its expiration date without negative health consequences, it may lose some of its flavor, richness, and consistency.
- Corn syrup is best stored at room temperature, out of direct sunlight.
The versatility and practicality of corn syrup make it a popular staple in pantries. Understanding its uses and proper storage makes it an even sweeter addition to your kitchen.