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Liquid sugar

Liquid sugar is used in the food industry for a range of products. It is particularly suitable as a sugar substitute for the production of drinks.

What is liquid sugar?

Liquid sugar is a viscous sweetener that appears transparent or slightly yellow in colour depending on the production process; it is created by dissolving table sugar in water. Similar products available on the market include inverted sugar syrup, glucose-fructose syrup or isoglucose. Liquid sugar is often known as high-fructose corn syrup in the USA. Conversely, treacle is a different product that is clearly distinct from liquid sugar in terms of its appearance, flavour and production process. Sucrose or starch forms the basis for the production of liquid sugar. Using a special process, the sugar is broken down into equal amounts of fructose and glucose. In the food industry, liquid sugar is used as a sweetener for a range of different products due to its advantageous properties.

© Akchamczuk/

As a renowned Hamburg-based distributor, August Töpfer & Co. is an established specialist in the market for sugar specialities and sugar by-products. Our product range includes wholesale liquid sugar – also available with the Fairtrade label. Our team will be happy to answer any questions about the products and their properties. Buy liquid sugar from the experienced wholesaler: benefit from a strong partner and count on the best quality at attractive prices.

Production of liquid sugar

Either table sugar (sucrose) or starch – obtained from maize, cereals or potatoes – provides the raw material for the production of liquid sugar.

The first step is to make invert sugar. The sugar is dissolved in hot water and is mixed with a small amount of acid. When starch is used, this is first broken down with the addition of enzymes. This process is called hydrolysis or cane sugar inversion and results in the breaking down of the molecules contained in the solution. While sugar is initially largely comprised of sucrose, it is subsequently decomposed into fructose and glucose.

The amount of fructose and glucose contained can be controlled during the production process. Since fructose has a sweeter taste, the ratio of the two sugars also affects the flavour of the liquid sugar.

Alternatively, invert sugar can be produced with the help of certain microorganisms – called immobilised invertase or glucose isomerase.

The name invert sugar comes from a physical property of the product. Under polarised light, an inverted sugar solution revolves in the opposite direction compared to a non-inverted sucrose solution. Water is added to process the finished invert sugar into liquid sugar. The finished solution is then sold on the market.

Many types of liquid sugar available on the market are a mixture of an inverted and non-inverted sugar solution – a partially inverted liquid sugar.

Properties of liquid sugar

As a liquid substitute for solid sugar, liquid sugar is a practical solution for all products that require the fast dissolution of the sweetener as well as an even consistency. Unlike table sugar, there is no risk of crystallisation when using partially inverted liquid sugar. The reason for this is primarily due to the fructose contained, which hardly crystallises compared to sucrose. This makes liquid sugar ideal for products like ice cream and desserts, and also for the production of drinks and cocktails. Liquid sugar is transparent and odourless. Its sweetness is similar to table sugar. Due to the fructose content, however, liquid sugar has a somewhat fruitier taste compared to a pure, non-inverted sucrose solution.

Use of liquid sugar

The properties of liquid sugar are similar to those of table sugar. The use of liquid sugar is popular mostly due to its practical application and its stable, syrupy consistency. Liquid sugar doesn’t easily crystallise and this provides a consistently smooth texture in the end product. Liquid sugar can be found under its various names in a wide range of industrial foods. In the form of artificial honey, liquid sugar is a suitable alternative to bees’ honey in vegan products.

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Liquid sugar in food

Liquid sugar is used in a wide range of dishes, drinks and confectionery. The crystallisation of sucrose can result in unintended changes to the consistency of products like ice cream, custard pudding, yoghurt and quark as well as sweet and savoury sauces. Using liquid sugar as an alternative sweetener ensures that the end product stays creamy for longer. Other typical products containing liquid sugar include bread, cakes and pastries, as well as marzipan, wine gums and sweets. The invert sugar content also has the effect of regulating moisture and maintaining freshness.

Liquid sugar for drinks production

As a liquid substitute for sugar, liquid sugar is an excellent sweetener for beverages and other liquid products, including soft drinks. The use of liquid sugar gives fruit syrups and liqueurs a smooth consistency. For cocktails and other bar drinks, liquid sugar also offers many benefits over granulated sugar, since it does not have to dissolve first. For this reason, it is sometimes marketed as sugar syrup for cocktails.

© Olena Sergienko/

Other applications of liquid sugar

Beekeepers use liquid sugar as winter feed for bees. In the tobacco industry, liquid sugar is a common additive in cigarettes.

Our liquid sugars are certified:

Buy inexpensive liquid sugar online

Order liquid sugar from an experienced wholesaler. As a renowned Hamburg-based distributor, August Töpfer & Co. offers a range of top-quality products. We source our raw materials directly from long-standing partners in the cultivation regions. Our business relationships are based on close communication and trusting cooperation with customers and producers. We inspect and pack most of our products at our location in Hamburg. This way, we ensure that you always receive your delivery on time and in the quality you expect.

Our team will be happy to answer any questions you may have about liquid sugar. Besides sugar specialities, our range also includes other products such as dried fruits, nuts and malt products. If you wish, we will also put together the right products for you based on your documents and specifications. Contact us if you are interested in an individual offer!