White Karo is a brand name of syrup that began processing in the late 1800's and became the popular choice for baking recipes. White Karo is a lighter colored syrup made from corn starch using a catalyst process to yield the sweetener. The separation forms a thick, viscous liquid made from a solution of heating corn byproduct, sugar and water. The heat separates molecules, producing a clear liquid, which is where the name white originates. Follow the steps below to make your own version of Karo white syrup.
Things You'll Need
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 5 ounces hot water
- 1/8 cup crystallized citric acid
- 1/8 cup baking soda
- Measuring cup
Making White Karo Syrup
White Karo corn syrup is made using the same wet milling process, with a few added improvements over the years. The corn is cleaned and steeped in high temperatures to separate the corn starch and protein from the kernels. The separated corn starch is washed and rinsed several times to be sure all of the protein is removed. What's left is 99.5 percent pure corn starch, used to make corn syrup.
Corn syrup is one of nature's natural sweeteners - it's soluble trait allows it to blend easier with baking and candy ingredients as an alternative to gradual sugar. The corn starch is mixed with water and processed through separators, breaking down the starch molecules and converting them into sugar. This process is called hydrolysis, the interaction with water and an acid chemical causes the molecules to collapse, producing corn glucose or simple sugar.
Filtering of glucose is done to remove sediment, unwanted flavors and natural product colors, rendering the clear white liquid. An enzyme is added to the liquid under controlled temperatures producing the fructose syrup with 42 percent fructose content. Higher fructose corn syrups are chemically altered to reach a 55 percent content for freezing with a lower melting point. There is no nutritional value added, it simply enhances the sweetness.
Making your own sugar syrup is similar, without all of the refining processes. Set a pot on the stove, add hot water and sugar. Stir the water and dissolve sugar, and bring the mixture to a boil on medium-low heat. Add crystallized citric acid and stir. Cover and cook for 45 minutes on low heat. The mixture should be clear. Be careful not to overcook or burn the sugar mixture.
Remove the pot from heat and set it aside. Take the baking soda, add water to liquefy, and then add the liquid baking soda into the cooked sugar mixture. Baking soda will cause bubbles as it interacts with the mixture. Stir the baking soda into the mixture well and allow the mixture to thicken, which will take about five minutes. The cooled syrup is ready for use, or it can be poured into a seal proof container for storage.