Imported products

American food labeling laws are stricter than Canadian ones in some respects. Corn syrup is more likely to appear as “corn syrup” in American products and “glucose-fructose,” etc. in Canadian ones. (Just compare cans of Coke from each country to see the difference!)

Products coming from Europe sometimes are not relabeled following the Canadian market rules. In such cases, corn can go by “sweetcorn” or “maize.” Products produced in Europe or manufactured elsewhere for the European market may also have corn-derived sweeteners, thickeners, emulsifiers, stabilizers, and so on listed in their ingredients as E-numbers rather than words. This site provides a good list of what the E-numbers stand for. The ones most likely to contain corn are starch-derived thickeners, stabilizers and emulsifiers in the series E14xx (the “xx” can be any 2-digit number). See also this EU legislation about E-numbers.

FYI, the European Commission issued a revision to its Directive 2001/83/EC in July 2003, called “Excipients in the label and package leaflet of medicinal products for human use.” It is much like the Canadian legal situation: corn and corn derivatives are not among the foods or fillers the EC deems imperative to indicate in ingredient lists (Directive 2003/89/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 November 2003 amending Directive 2000/13/EC as regards indication of the ingredients present in foodstuffs).