Is Liquid Glucose the Same as Glycerin? Unrevealing the Similarities and Dissimilarities

Is Liquid Glucose the Same as Glycerin

No, liquid Glucose and glycerin are not the same. Liquid Glucose is a syrup made from cornstarch used in cooking. Glycerin, also known as glycerol, is a clear liquid used in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and food products for its moisturizing properties.

Liquid Glucose and glycerin are two distinct substances with different chemical compositions and uses.

Liquid Glucose, which is also called glucose syrup, is a thick and sweet syrup made mainly from corn starch. It is commonly used as a sweetener and thickener in food and beverage products, including the baking, confectionery, and pharmaceutical industries.

On the other hand, glycerin, also called glycerol, is a clear, odorless liquid derived from fats and oils.

It has various applications, such as in skin care products, pharmaceuticals, and food products as a humectant and solvent. Despite both substances being sweet in taste, they are not the same and serve different purposes in various industries.

Let’s Check out the factors that differentiate Glucose and glycerin and how to choose the right product for your purpose.

What Is Liquid Glucose and Glycerin?

Liquid Glucose

Liquid Glucose is a thick, sugary syrup derived from cornstarch, often used in cooking, baking, and food manufacturing.

Besides, liquid Glucose is used in the food industry as a sweetener, thickening agent, and texture enhancer. It is commonly employed in confectionery products to prevent crystallization, improve mouthfeel, and adjust the texture of candies, syrups, and baked goods.


Glycerin, also called glycerol, is a clear and scentless liquid from fats and oils. It has various applications in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and food products.

In cosmetics, it acts as a humectant, retaining moisture and softening the skin. In pharmaceuticals, it serves as a solvent and stabilizer. It’s also used in food products as a sweetener and to enhance moisture retention.

Is Liquid Glucose the Same as Glycerin – What’s the Differences?

Is Liquid Glucose the Same as Glycerin – What’s the Differences

When exploring ingredients for various applications, distinguishing between substances with similar properties becomes crucial. Liquid Glucose and glycerin, while sharing some characteristics, are distinct compounds with diverse roles. 

Both find utility in food, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical industries, yet their chemical compositions, functions, and effects diverge.

Here are the differences between glycerin and liquid Glucose explained in points:

Composition and Source:


  • Glycerin, also called glycerol, is a clear and odorless liquid substance.
  • It is typically derived from fats and oils through processes like hydrolysis.

Liquid Glucose

  • Liquid Glucose is a thick syrup composed of glucose molecules.
  • It is typically derived from cornstarch through hydrolysis, resulting in the breakdown of starch into simpler sugars.



  • Glycerin is widely used in various industries, including cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and food.
  • Glycerin is recognized for keeping skin moist and attracting moisture, which is why it’s often added to skincare items, medicines, and foods.

Liquid Glucose

  • Liquid Glucose is primarily used in the food industry for its sweetening and texturizing properties.
  • People often use it in cooking, baking, and making food to make things sweeter and give products a better texture.



  • Glycerin pulls in moisture from the surroundings and aids in holding onto water, keeping things hydrated.
  • Its moisturizing properties make it suitable for preventing dryness in skin products and for preserving moisture in food items.

Liquid Glucose

  • Liquid Glucose serves as a source of easily digestible Glucose, making it suitable for energy supplementation in food products.
  • It adds sweetness to recipes and contributes to the texture of products like confectionery, sauces, and syrups.



  • Glycerin is generally considered safe for consumption and topical application within recommended limits.

Liquid Glucose

  • Liquid Glucose is safe for consumption within recommended usage levels and regulatory guidelines.

In summary, glycerin is known for its moisturizing and humectant properties, finding applications in skincare, pharmaceuticals, and food.

On the other hand, liquid Glucose is primarily used in the food industry for its sweetening and texturizing abilities.

Glycerin Vs. Liquid Glucose

Here’s a comparison table highlighting the differences between glycerin and liquid Glucose:

AspectGlycerinLiquid Glucose
Chemical CompositionGlycerol, a type of alcoholPrimarily Glucose (sugar) molecules
TasteMildly sweetModerately sweet
ViscosityRelatively thickVaries based on the concentration
Primary UseHumectant (retains moisture)Sweetener, stabilizer, thickener
Common ApplicationsCosmetics, food, pharmaceuticalsThe food industry, confections, baking
SweetnessLess sweet compared to sugarsSweeter taste
Hygroscopic PropertiesDraws moisture from the airCan inhibit crystallization in candy
Caloric ContentProvides 4.32 calories per gramProvides four calories per gram
Texture EnhancementImproves texture in cosmeticsEnhances viscosity and mouthfeel
DigestionMetabolized as an energy sourceMetabolized as a carbohydrate

How to Choose Between Liquid Glucose And Glycerin For A Specific Application?

How to Choose Between Liquid Glucose And Glycerin For A Specific Application

When it comes to selecting the appropriate ingredient for a specific application, such as in the food industry or skin care products, choosing between liquid Glucose and glycerin is crucial for achieving desired results.

This decision can significantly influence the final product’s quality, taste, texture, and overall effectiveness.

Here’s a breakdown of how to choose between liquid Glucose and glycerin for a specific application:

1. Purpose of the Application:

Determine the primary goal of your application. Are you aiming to enhance sweetness, texture, or moisture retention?

2. Type of Product:

Identify whether your application is related to food, cosmetics, or another field, as this will influence your choice.

3. Sweetness vs. Moisture:

If sweetness enhancement and viscosity are key, you must choose liquid glucose.

If moisture retention and humectant properties are vital, glycerin might be more suitable.

4. Food Applications – Liquid Glucose:

Liquid Glucose is excellent for confections, baked goods, and food products.

It prevents sugar crystallization and adds viscosity, enhancing texture and mouthfeel.

5. Non-Food Applications – Glycerin:

Glycerin is preferable for cosmetics, skincare, and personal care items.

It attracts moisture, hydrates the skin, and is used in products like lotions and soaps.

6. Crystallization Concerns – Liquid Glucose:

If preventing sugar crystallization is a priority, liquid Glucose’s properties make it a suitable choice.

7. Skin Hydration – Glycerin:

Glycerin’s humectant properties help retain moisture, making it ideal for skin hydration products.

8. Texture Enhancement – Liquid Glucose:

For achieving desired textures and mouthfeel in food products, liquid Glucose is advantageous.

9. Mixing and Compatibility:

Consider how well each substance integrates with other ingredients in your formulation.

10. Regulatory Considerations: – Ensure that the chosen substance aligns with regulations in your industry, especially for food and cosmetics.

11. Experimentation and Testing: – If uncertain, conduct small-scale tests to observe how each substance behaves in your application.

Remember that the suitability of liquid Glucose or glycerin for your application depends on your goals, the product type, and the desired properties. Careful consideration of these factors will help you make the best choice for your specific needs. 


Can I use liquid Glucose as a substitute for glycerin?

No, liquid Glucose and glycerin have different properties and purposes. They are not interchangeable substitutes.

Where is liquid Glucose commonly used?

Liquid Glucose is commonly used in confectionery, baking, and food processing as a sweetener and texture enhancer.

What are the uses of glycerin?

Glycerin is used in skincare products, medications, food products, and various industrial applications due to its moisturizing and humectant properties.

Is glycerin safe to consume?

Yes, glycerin is considered safe for consumption when used in food products within regulatory limits.

Can liquid Glucose be used in skincare?

Liquid Glucose is not commonly used in skincare products; glycerin is a more common ingredient due to its moisturizing properties.

Are there any health concerns associated with glycerin?

Glycerin is generally safe for most people when used as directed. However, excessive consumption may lead to gastrointestinal discomfort.


Liquid Glucose is a thick syrup derived from starch and primarily used as a sweetener in food and beverages, while glycerin is a clear, viscous liquid derived from fats and oils commonly used in skincare and pharmaceutical products.

So, there are clear differences between Glucose and glycerin. And it is important to select the right product for specific purposes as their properties and uses differ significantly.

To select the right product, consider the intended application, desired properties, and consult relevant guidelines or experts in the respective fields.