A lot of people don't realize that Karo is actually a brand of corn syrup. It was created by the Corn Products Refining Co. of New York and Chicago in 1902. Karo was the first conveniently packaged corn syrup for cooking at home.


Prior to the invention of Karo syrup, syrup was purchased from large barrels at grocery stores. Karo was advertised as wholesome and good-tasting, and and as having a large variety of uses.


Karo is made from a blend of sugars from cornstarch and 15 to 20 percent glucose. There are two varieties: light, which is almost clear and has vanilla flavoring; and dark, which is brown with a flavor similar to molasses.


Karo is distributed all over the United States for home use. It is a liquid sweetener used in cooking and is fat- and cholesterol-free.

High-Fructose Corn Syrup

High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is composed of 42 to 55 percent fructose and glucose. It is used in the manufacturing of processed foods to enhance flavors, protect freshness and texture, and as a natural sweetener.


Karo is made from sugars that mostly come from corn. HFCS is made from fructose derived from fruits and honey, plus corn sugars. HFCS is used in the manufacturing of food, but both Karo and HFCS are corn products and contain 60 calories per tablespoon.

About the Author

Grace Stamper

Grace Stamper is a retired teacher, author and graduate of the University of Dayton and Sam Houston State University. Stamper’s published works include the books "The Native Americans of Texas," "A Little Bit of Texas Part 1" and "A Little Bit of Texas Part 2." Her latest book is an eBook, "Secrets of Matthew Hill–Changes." Stamper resides in Texas.