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Organic Brown Rice Syrup: Our Sweetener of Choice

When you think of brown rice, you probably think of a nutritious whole grain – not a sweetener! But it turns out it can be transformed into a delicious golden syrup that both sweetens and helps bind our plant-based protein bars.

At GoMacro®, we're passionate about spreading the power of a balanced, plant-based lifestyle, which is why we use clean, organic ingredients like whole grains, nuts, and plant-based protein. It’s also why we’ve carefully and thoughtfully selected organic brown rice syrup to give our MacroBars® a delicious touch of sweetness while still allowing our other ingredients to shine!

What Is Brown Rice Syrup?

Brown rice syrup is commonly used as a sweetener in various food products and recipes. It has a mild, sweet flavor and is often considered a great alternative to many other sweeteners due to its minimal processing and the retention of certain nutrients in brown rice.

Our organic brown rice syrup is crafted using USDA-Certified Organic brown rice, which is cultured with special koji enzymes (instead of the commonly used barley), making it gluten-free! Through a gradual enzymatic process, the starches in brown rice break down, transforming carbs, proteins, and fats into sugars and amino acids. Once pressed and filtered, the syrup preserves the nutrient-rich B vitamins and minerals naturally present in brown rice.

Organic Brown Rice Syrup

Why We Opted For Organic Brown Rice Syrup

We’re committed to crafting delicious bars without compromising ingredient quality - so our choice of sweetener was one we took seriously! With so many sweeteners available on the market, we were met with plenty of options, but we knew artificial and highly refined sweeteners had no place in our products. In fact, the original MacroBar recipe was created in our founders’ kitchen after they made the transition to a plant-based, macrobiotic diet, which emphasizes eating in harmony with nature. Brown rice is a key component in the macrobiotic diet due to its nutrient density, making brown rice syrup a natural choice for sweetening and binding MacroBars. Further, our extensive research also confirmed that brown rice syrup was the right choice for us. Here are a few reasons why…

Nothing Artificial

Our organic brown rice syrup is plant-based and sustainably sourced. Produced by breaking down rice starch with enzymes through a process of fermentation, brown rice transforms into easily digestible sugar. Artificial sweeteners in other products may reduce total sugar content, but may also pose potential health risks. In contrast, brown rice syrup is derived directly from natural, nutrient-dense brown rice.

Organically Grown & Tested for Heavy Metals

While organic certification ensures the absence of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, organic crops may still contain traces of toxins found in the growing environment. Rice, being a water-grown grain, tends to naturally absorb more arsenic. At GoMacro, our brown rice syrup is exclusively sourced from organically grown rice that is rigorously tested for heavy metals. These safety validation processes ensure arsenic and lead are below 10 parts per billion – a level far below FDA standards – all without affecting the other nutrients.

No Fructose

Most forms of sugar are comprised of glucose and/or fructose molecules. Glucose, the body’s preferred source of energy, can be broken down and used in several parts of the body. Fructose, however, can only be broken down by your liver, which may eventually put strain on the organ. Most conventional sweeteners, like high fructose corn syrup, contain high amounts of fructose along with glucose.

Brown rice syrup, made up of maltotriose (52%), maltose (45%), and glucose (3%), is totally fructose-free. In fact, maltose is simply made up of two glucose molecules, while maltotriose is three glucose molecules. This means that brown rice syrup is processed by the body the same way as simple glucose. Therefore, it’s unlikely to have the same adverse effects on liver function and metabolic health as sweeteners that contain fructose.

Binding & Sweetening

Organic brown rice syrup serves a dual purpose—it sweetens MacroBars and binds ingredients together, maintaining the bars' structure. Its inherent stickiness negates the need for baking, ensuring the preservation of nutrients in nuts, fruits, and berries. It’s one more reason that brown rice syrup helps us remain aligned with our dedication to providing delicious, high-quality ingredients in every MacroBar!

Comparing Sweeteners

You now know the reasons we selected brown rice syrup, but you may be wondering how it compares to sweeteners commonly used in other bars on the market. There are many factors to consider, including the total sugar content, the ingredient list, and the variety of opinions you’ve probably heard about different sweeteners.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand how ingredients are listed on food labels. You may have heard that ingredients are listed in order of quantity from highest to lowest. In reality, ingredients on a food label must be listed in order of weight – not volume. Brown rice syrup, for example, is very dense and it weighs more than any of the other ingredients that we use in MacroBars. By volume, our bars contain way more oats than brown rice syrup, but the syrup must be listed first due to its weight.

Unfortunately, many food manufacturers use this nuance to their advantage, which can make reading labels confusing for consumers. Specifically, many other bar brands use smaller amounts of several different sweeteners to ensure none of them are listed as the first ingredient. However, if you were to combine all of the sweeteners, this mix would likely come first in their ingredient list, as well.

Although brown rice syrup appears first on the ingredient list for many of our flavors, you’ll find that MacroBars aren’t as sweet as many other bars on the market and have lower sugar contents than many competitors. That’s why it’s essential to read the entire ingredient list, understand sugar form and quality, and compare total sugar contents to get the full picture.

A Balanced, Plant-Based Lifestyle

Here at GoMacro, we believe that the foundation of any healthy lifestyle is a balanced diet. We carefully and intentionally consider each ingredient to ensure we’re using only wholesome, plant-based, high-quality, certified ingredients from the very best sources. Wherever you go, MacroBars are a delicious and nutritious option to keep you fueled.