High Fructose Corn Syrup

I have noticed that high fructose corn syrup is a topic that people are frequently tweeting about. What is it? Is it healthy? Is it safe?

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a sweetener made from corn. It is found in numerous foods and drinks on grocery store shelves and at restaurants. “HFCS is made up of either 42 percent or 55 percent fructose, with the remaining sugars being primarily glucose and higher sugars.” (http://www.sweetsurprise.com/).

HFCS is structured almost exactly like sugar, so why is HFCS so frequently used? High fructose corn syrup is used because it provides the same level of sweetness as sugar and enhances fruit and spice flavors. HFCS can replace sugar in one-for-one proportions.

HFCS also keeps products fresh because it maintains consistent moisture. It also protects the firm texture of canned fruits and reduces freezer burn when it comes to frozen fruits. HFCS also retains moisture and resists crystallization after baking which allows us to enjoy chewy cookies, snack bars, and other baked goods. It also allows for superior browning and flavoring to baked goods because it is a “reducing sugar”.

About 96 percent of the sugars in HFCS are fermentable. This is important in baking bread because HFCS is therefore more economical to use than sucrose.

As you can see, high fructose corn syrup is versatile and is contained in numerous foods. Many people worry that they are consuming too much HFCS. However, you would have to consume 87 bowls of bran cereal in a day to reach the daily allowance of added sugars from high fructose corn syrup. To reach that allowance you could consume 39 slices of bread, 20 servings of spaghetti sauce, or 50 servings of salad dressing. This goes to show that many foods contain small portions of HFCS.

Additional Facts/ Points of Interest:

The corn used to make high fructose corn syrup is purchased on the open market and is subject to prevailing market prices and trade activity at the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT).

The U.S. Department of Agriculture does not regulate high fructose corn syrup prices or control supply.

Contrary to misperceptions, high fructose corn syrup is not a protected commodity; rather, it is subject to all of the highs and lows of marketplace supply and demand.

High fructose corn syrup is nutritionally the same as sugar and is especially prized for its ability to retain moisture, enhance fruit and spice flavors, reduce tartness and aid in the fermentation in foods.

Sources: www.sweetsurprise.com, http://www.corn.orghttp://sweetscam.com/

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10 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by demiansdomain on December 13, 2010 at 6:53 PM

    (Some Info on Sugar Tariffs)

    http://www.benzinga.com/105260/sugar-tariffs-cost-americans-2-5-billion-in-2009

    (Corn Subsidy Info)

    http://farm.ewg.org/progdetail.php?fips=00000&progcode=corn

    “Contrary to misperceptions, high fructose corn syrup is not a protected commodity”

    73.8 billion in taxpayer subsidies (since 1995) begs to differ with you.

    Reply

    • Unlike sugar, the government does not control or support the price of high fructose corn syrup. And although the government does provide some assistance to some farmers, it does not subsidize the price of the products made from those crops.

      Because of a variety of factors, high fructose corn syrup is less expensive than sugar. Beyond that, it also has a number of important characteristics that food produces utilize.

      Reply

      • Posted by demiansdomain on December 21, 2010 at 6:52 PM

        Sugar tariffs keep the price of sugar in America high. This by itself PROTECTS corn, and by extension HFCS (made from corn) against competition from what would be cheaper sugar imports.

        By “some assistance” do you mean to say 78 billion dollars since 1995 isn’t noteworthy?

        I would like to hear your thoughts on the obesity epidemic in America and the role HFCS may play in it.

  2. Cause of obesity epidemic in America is not caused by HFCS aka corn sugar but instead vehicles, escalators, television, leisure activities, and countless modern labor-saving devices…. all which lead to more calories consumed and fewer calories burned.

    Reply

    • Posted by demiansdomain on December 29, 2010 at 5:29 PM

      I’m not sure you can make a claim like that without any evidence to back it up. What studies have been conducted to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that HFCS has not at least contributed to the obesity epidemic? To date, I have heard of none. What I have heard are nightly PSA’s attempting to convince me HFCS is exactly like real sugar. Well, if that were the case, then why the need for the PSA’s? Why the need to lobby Congress to re brand HFCS to corn sugar? Could it be because Americans are waking up to the dangers of HFCS?

      My personal experience with HFCS differs from your assertions. Once I eliminated HFCS from my diet, I dropped 50 lbs. Prior to that I was exercising regularly and counting calories, but not losing any weight. Escalators, tv, leisure activities were all in existence before HFCS was introduced to our food supply circa 1975, so I rather doubt that is the cause of obesity in America.

      There was a study conducted at Princeton University which indicates HFCS increases weight gain and body fat several times more then real sugar. You can read about it here:

      http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S26/91/22K07/

      What studies can you reference which would counter this one?

      Reply

  3. You can find almost 15 studies on HFCS at http://sweetsurprise.com/science-and-research.

    Reply

    • Posted by demiansdomain on December 29, 2010 at 5:56 PM

      Interesting; unfortunately, none of these studies were conducted after the Princeton study, which would lead me to believe the findings in the Princeton study represent new information on this front.

      Perhaps the corn refiners association should get busy and try to debunk the Princeton study, as opposed to giving us a panel of government (i.e.: taxpayer) funded “experts” who don’t seem to cite any actual experiments.

      Again, my experience flies in the face of the what your sources say is true. As a result, I will continue to spread the word about what I know to be true regarding HFCS.

      Reply

      • “High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has become a stand-in for everything that is wrong with the world. It has been blamed for childhood obesity by a prominent politician, hyped by a famous food activist as the cause of environmental catastrophes, and casually called poison by people who want to police our dinner tables. Both science and common sense beg for skepticism. But now there are five good reasons to call shenanigans on the supposed link between obesity and HFCS. And they’re all published in a recent supplement to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

        The five papers confirm that the anti-HFCS doctrine—instigated by activists and disseminated by a bewildered media—is groundless. As USA TODAY reports, the studies “find no special link between consumption of high-fructose corn syrup and obesity.” In other words (as we’ve been suggesting for years), HFCS affects our bodies in the same way as regular table sugar. The sugar-is-natural/HFCS-is-evil routine was getting a bit old anyway. So we’re glad that some research is finally validating that, as one researcher put it, “sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup are not that different.”

        USA TODAY suggests these five papers were a reaction to previous studies—one in the same journal and by the same author—which concluded that there was a link between HFCS and obesity. Those studies, of course, look pretty shaky today. The real lesson here goes deeper than sugar and syrup: Don’t allow half-baked science to metastize into nutritional dogma.”

        http://www.consumerfreedom.com/news_detail.cfm/h/3786-hfcs-hype-debunked-by-hype-creators

  4. Posted by demiansdomain on December 29, 2010 at 6:12 PM

    A Princeton University research team has demonstrated that all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain: Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.

    In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides. The researchers say the work sheds light on the factors contributing to obesity trends in the United States.

    “Some people have claimed that high-fructose corn syrup is no different than other sweeteners when it comes to weight gain and obesity, but our results make it clear that this just isn’t true, at least under the conditions of our tests,” said psychology professor Bart Hoebel, who specializes in the neuroscience of appetite, weight and sugar addiction. “When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they’re becoming obese — every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don’t see this; they don’t all gain extra weight.”

    http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S26/91/22K07/

    Reply

  5. Posted by demiansdomain on December 29, 2010 at 6:31 PM

    Here is the science behind many of the so called studies:

    Nutrition Impact is a small consulting firm that specializes in helping food & beverage companies develop and communicate aggressive, science-based claims about their products and services.

    http://www.nutritionimpact.com/

    Yep, sounds like fact based unbiased science to me (sarcasm).

    Reply

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