Due to the overwhelming trend in the US to go organic, the latest trend among food manufacturers is to stamp “No High Fructose Corn Syrup” on products in an effort to create a more organic brand. The food fad before this was to stamp “No Trans Fats” on product labels. In response to this growing trend to vilify high fructose corn syrup, the Corn Refiners Association have put up facts and information on their website about their latest petition to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“Facts” Provided by the Corn Refiners Association:
High fructose corn syrup is sugar made from corn.1 The two simple sugars that make up high fructose corn syrup are fructose and glucose, and “once absorbed into the bloodstream, the two sweeteners are indistinguishable,” as quoted from the American Dietetic Association.1
As of September 14, 2010, the Corn Refiners Association submitted a petition2 to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of giving manufacturers the option of using the name “corn sugar” instead of high fructose corn syrup on product lablels.1 According to Sweetsurprise.com, the official website sponsored by the Corn Refiners Association, the name corn sugar more accurately describes the composition of the ingredient.1
By definition, high fructose corn syrup should have a name change to “half fructose corn syrup.”1 They argue that the composition of high fructose corn syrup is technically is closer to 50 percent fructose, and the remaining amount is made up of glucose and a small percentage is from polysaccharides and other sugars.1 In comparison to agave nectar, the fructose content is relatively low. Agave nectar is another common sweetener, is typically 75 percent fructose.1
The name high fructose corn syrup was given because it’s concentration is higher in fructose than regular corn syrup.1 The two most commonly seen formulations for high fructose corn syrup are the 42 percent fructose/53 percent glucose/5 percent other, and the 55 percent fructose/42 percent glucose/3 percent other combinations.1
Reasons to Avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup:
Beverages with high fructose corn syrup have high levels of carbonyls, linked to tissue damage and diabetes.3
The corn used to make high fructose corn syrup could be genetically modified.3
An additional processing step is added the enzymatic process of creating high fructose corn syrup, making it a “processed food.”3
Cancer cells readily metabolize fructose to increase proliferation. (Dr. Anthony Heaney, UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center)5
There are ways to limit or avoid high fructose corn syrup in your diet. For example, Pepsi often has a promotional called Pepsi Throwback and a product called Pepsi Natural that use the old real sugar formula used in the 1970’s.4 A listing is also available online of high fructose corn syrup free foods.
1Clearing Up Confusion about Sugar Made from Corn. Sweetsurprise.com.
2Petition from the Corn Refiners Association. Regulations.gov.
3How to Avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup. WikiHow.com.
4Monica Eng. Pepsi Throwback’s vintage real-sugar taste thrills panel. Chicago Tribune.
5Cancer cells slurp up fructose, US study finds. Reuters.
Stop HFCS. High Fructose Corn Syrup Free Food List. StopHFCS.com.