Corn syrup is a liquid that is made from
sugars that are obtained from processing corn.
Processing the corn means that the corn is mixed
with acidic water, certain other ingredients
(enzymes), and heated until the corn is broken
down from hard yellow kernels into a liquid.
This process is similar to the process that your
body uses to break down food in your stomach to
The corn syrup obtained from this processing
is a liquid that is thick and sticky like maple
syrup, but is generally either completely clear
(like water) or mostly clear with a slightly
yellow tint. Thick liquids like maple syrup,
corn syrup, and honey are said to have a
high "viscosity," where the viscosity is a
measure of a liquid's ability to resit flow:
higher viscosities mean thicker liquids. To get
a better feel for the viscosity of liquids, you
may wish to try the following (slightly messy)
• Get 2 small plastic cups. Please don't
use a glass cup because you can break the cup
and possibly get hurt!
• Get a small amount of water (low
viscosity) and a small amount of a high
viscosity liquid like honey, maple syrup, or
• Put a small amount of water in one cup
and a small amount of the high viscosity liquid
in the other cup (~ 1/4 of the cup should be
• Lightly knock the cups over and you
should see a very large difference in how the
water and honey/syrup spills.
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