Corn syrup solids in hypoallergenic formulas

We often get questions about corn syrup and corn syrup solids. More specifically why they are in our amino acid-based formulas. Corn syrup solids are a dried version of corn syrup. To keep it simple we’ll refer to them as corn syrup from here on. We’d like to address and debunk some common misconceptions about corn syrup. We’ll also discuss why you’ll find this ingredient in Neocate and other leading brands of amino acid-based formulas. Through this, we want to educate and empower parents to make informed feeding choices for their little ones.

For starters, we know that children who need amino acid-based formulas have special dietary needs. Parents of these children seek a formula that helps their child grow, thrive, and remain active all while effectively managing their food allergies. To meet the needs of your little one, Neocate carefully selects ingredients to ensure that our formulas are both hypoallergenic and nutritionally complete.*  

Carbohydrates are an essential part of a nutritionally complete formula that your child can thrive on. Carbohydrates are essential fuel for the body. Standard infant formulas most often contain lactose from milk as their carbohydrate. However, this ingredient may not be suitable for kids with milk allergies. Corn syrup, like lactose, provides energy in the form of carbohydrates but is much safer for those with milk and multiple food allergies. Read on to learn more about corn syrup in Neocate.

What are corn syrup solids and are they safe for my child in formula?

Corn syrup has long been recognized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a safe ingredient. It has been widely used in standard foods and has been safely used for decades in infant formula. For over 35 years, Neocate has used corn syrup as a carbohydrate source in its hypoallergenic, amino acid-based formulas. We carefully select our ingredients to best ensure children can grow and thrive on our full range of Neocate products. Learn more about carbohydrates and why they’re needed in your child’s formula.

Are corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup the same ingredient?

A common misconception about corn syrup is that it’s the same as high fructose corn syrup, or HFCS. High fructose corn syrup is a sugar source used to sweeten standard foods and beverages (such as candies, juices and sodas). High fructose corn syrup is made when some of the glucose molecules in corn starch are chemically changed to fructose to taste sweeter. Unlike high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup does not contain fructose and is not the same thing as HFCS. High fructose corn syrup is not used in any Neocate formulas — Neocate prides itself on creating a great tasting range of formulas without the use of high fructose corn syrup .

Are brown rice or agave syrup better and healthier?

Brown rice syrup, agave syrup and corn syrup ALL act as carbohydrate sources in food. If you were to break them all down to their smallest parts, you’d find that they all contain glucose. Glucose is the life-sustaining sugar that provides energy to all your cells. Agave syrup, like HFCS, also contains fructose and is often used as a sweetener. Each of these syrups is comprised of simple sugars so you’ll find that they are all easily digested. There is no established dietary benefit of using brown rice or agave syrup instead of corn syrup.

Can corn syrup elicit an allergic reaction from my child with food allergies?

Ingredients for Neocate (e.g. amino acids, oils, carbohydrates) are carefully chosen with strict criteria to help ensure there is no allergenic risk.  All corn ingredients in Neocate undergo a purification process designed to remove the protein and fat that are naturally present in corn. Since the protein part of the food is what the body responds to in a typical allergic reaction, this reduces the part of corn that triggers corn protein allergy reactions. That being said, we do not test for corn protein so we are unable to say that possible trace proteins have been completely eliminated.

Leading experts in allergy management say that corn syrup is typically tolerated by individuals with corn allergies.1 Refined corn syrup is generally not restricted in the diets of individuals with corn allergies.  

To learn more about corn allergies, please visit our Corn Allergy 101 blog for more information. If you have further concerns about the corn syrup solids in Neocate, its best to discuss this with your little one’s allergist to see if a supervised trial of Neocate is needed. 

Neocate® is a family of hypoallergenic, amino acid-based medical foods for use under medical supervision and is indicated for cow milk allergy, multiple food allergies and related GI and allergic conditions. Talk to your healthcare provider about product recommendations

*Neocate Nutra is not nutritionally complete and is not suitable as a sole source of nutrition
1. Groetch M, Nowak-Wegrzyn A. Practical approach to nutrition and dietary intervention in pediatric food allergy. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2013: 24: 212–221.

Published: 07/14/2020
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