What is liquid glucose?

Liquid glucose is a glucose solution suspended in liquid and sold in bottles or tubs. Many companies make glucose in powder form to which water can be added to produce liquid glucose for easy transportation of this product. Liquid glucose is available from a variety of sources, depending on how it is intended to be used. Medical providers sometimes carry it, as do some grocery stores, especially stores with a large baking section.

This monosaccharide is produced through the processing of starches such as corn and wheat. Glucose has a famously strong sugar taste and plays an important role in the human body as well as being very useful in cooking. Liquid glucose is an extremely pure form of glucose that has a concentrated flavor. The strength means that people should use it carefully, as it's easy to dispense too much for a particular application.

In the kitchen, liquid glucose is used as a sweetener in a variety of foods. This product does not crystallize, sweetens evenly, helps preserve foods, and has a very low freezing point, making it attractive for things like candy and ice cream. European recipes tend to call for liquid glucose more often, and for this reason it is more widely available in European stores. Corn syrup is similar in nature and can be used as a replacement if liquid glucose is not available, although the recipe may be slightly different due to natural variations.

In medicine, liquid glucose is used when a patient has dangerously low blood sugar and a health care provider wants to raise blood sugar levels as quickly as possible. Liquid glucose can be given orally or by injection to raise blood sugar levels. The problem of low blood sugar is seen more often in diabetic patients who have entered a state of hypoglycemia. Diabetics are often vigilant about monitoring their blood glucose levels and adjusting their medications or sugar intake as needed to prevent complications like hypoglycemia, but they are sometimes caught off guard.

Liquid glucose sold for medical use is often packaged in sterile containers. It is usually clear and very viscous. Some companies make single-use packets that can be used to quickly dispense glucose to a patient, while others may sell larger bottles, with people dispensing the amount as needed. The small packets can be included in first aid kits carried in ambulances and by first aid services so that they can quickly intervene in a situation where someone has become hypoglycemic.

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