GMO COMPASS - Information on genetically modified organisms
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Glucose isomerase


Function Conversion of glucose to fructose
Application Starches (breakdown of starches to sugars)
Production using gene technology widespread
Labelling no


Glucose isomerase converts glucose into fructose.


Glucose isomerase is used almost exclusively in the conversion of starches to sugars.

In the first step of this process, the plant starch (primarily from maize) is "liquefied" and split into the basic sugars glucose and fructose.  In this process, amylases and other starch-splitting enzymes are used.

In the second step, glucose isomerase converts a portion of the glucose into fructose. Since fructose is sweeter than glucose, the "sweetness" of the syrupy glucose-fructose mixture and achieves almost the same sweetness as sugar. Syrups with high fructose content also are referred to as fructosesyrup, isoglucose or High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).

Particularly in the USA, these syrups largely have replaced the traditional cane or beet sugar in lemonade and cola beverages.

  • The enzyme glucose-isomerase is normally "immobilised" when used, i.e., it is fixed to a transporter and is not transferred to the product or ingredient on which it is used.

Gene technology

Glucose isomerase is produced through fermentation with microorganisms. A variety of bacteria cultures are used.

  • One of three preparations that are marketed in the EU is manufactured with the aid of genetically modified microorganisms (Streptomyces).

Labelling: labelling of enzymes in regard to their production using GM microorganisms is generally not foreseen in the European Union.


 GMO Database
GM Food and Feed: Authorization in the EU
GMO Database: Contains information on every GM plant that has been approved or is awaiting authorisation in the EU.
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