Reading Food Labels:  Carbohydrates in Neocate

Posted 6.8.10 | Christine Graham-Garo

As part of our ongoing "Carb Series", today's post will discuss the carbohydrates found in Neocate. As you found in Sarah's Carb 101 post, carbohydrates are the major source of energy for humans. Children require about 50% of their total energy to come from carbohydrate (remember there are 4 calories in 1 g of carbohydrate).

The carbohydrate source in Neocate is corn syrup solids. This is probably the most asked about ingredient in the Neocate line of products! Many parents aren't sure if corn syrup solids are similar to high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). It is important not to confuse the two. HFCS is chemically altered in order to make it much sweeter so it can be added to a wide range of processed/packaged foods. The corn syrup solids we use, along with the fats, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals are an important part of the nutritionally complete blend of nutrients in Neocate.

Another question we get asked a lot is whether the corn syrup solids in Neocate are safe for children with a corn allergy. It is important to remember that the corn syrup solids in Neocate are highly refined. This means that the ingredient goes through several steps in order to take out all of the protein from the corn (since proteins are what cause allergic reactions). This leaves only the complex carbohydrate source from the corn. So, even if your child has an allergy to corn proteins, Neocate is still an appropriate choice for them.

The corn syrup solids used in Neocate are considered to be complex carbohydrates meaning they consist of large (branched) chains of sugars. This is important for patients who have severe gastrointestinal (GI) conditions such as Short Bowel Syndrome. Studies suggest that obtaining a good source of complex carbohydrates may be beneficial for patients who have had GI resections1-2. The complex carbohydrates help with gut adaptation and rehabilitation to ensure proper nutrient absorption is taking place.

Got any questions on carbohydrates or the corn syrup solids used inthe Neocate family of products? Let us know!


1. J. E. Bines, R. G. Taylor, F. Justice, et al., “Influence of diet complexity on intestinal adaptation following massive small bowel resection in a preclinical model,” Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, vol. 17, no. 11, pp. 1170–1179, 2002.

2. J. Ksiazyk, M. Piena, J. Kierkus, and M. Lyszkowska, “Hydrolyzed versus nonhydrolyzed protein diet in short bowel syndrome in children,” Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, vol. 35, no. 5, pp. 615–618, 2002.

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About Us

Food Allergy Living is a resource for parents of children with food allergies, brought to you by Nutricia, the makers of Neocate. For more in-depth information about our purpose & authors, see our About Food Allergy Living page.