« Antibiotics for Chickens | Main | Country of Origin Labeling for Mississippi catfish »

June 30, 2008

CSPI: high fructose corn syrup not "natural"

Corn_2  The American Medical Association recently announced its conclusion that “high fructose corn syrup does not contribute to obesity more than other caloric sweeteners.”   Not surprisingly, the Corn Refiners Association applauded this finding:

“This science-based decision by the nation’s leading medical body reaffirms that no single food or ingredient is the sole cause of obesity. Rather, too many calories and too little exercise is a primary cause,” said Audrae Erickson, president, Corn Refiners Association.

New research continues to confirm that high fructose corn syrup is no different from other sweeteners, according to Erickson. HFCS, like table sugar and honey, is natural. It is made from corn, a natural grain product.

As the Center for Science in the Public Interest is quick to point out however, there is not much natural about HFCS:

The Corn Refiners Association’s slick new advertising is deceptive in stating that high-fructose corn syrup “has the same natural sweeteners as table sugar.” HFCS consists almost entirely of glucose and fructose, but not a single molecule of sucrose. Sugar is 100 percent sucrose. It is true that adding a water molecule to sucrose and splitting it in half yields one molecule each of glucose and fructose—but that is not the same as saying that HFCS and sugar contain the same sweeteners.

It is also deceptive to imply that HFCS is natural. HFCS starts out as cornstarch, which is chemically or enzymatically degraded to glucose (and some short polymers of glucose). Another enzyme is then used to convert varying fractions of glucose into fructose. High fructose corn syrup just doesn’t exist in nature. . . .

More on the process from the Corn Refiners (they should know).

High fructose corn sweeteners begin with enzymes which isomerize dextrose to produce a 42 percent fructose syrup. By passing 42-HFCS through a column which retains fructose, refiners draw off 90 percent HFCS and blend it with 42-HFCS to make a third syrup, 55-HFCS. Further processing produces crystalline fructose.

All the syrups share advantages--stability, high osmotic pressure, or crystallization control, for example--but each offers special qualities to food manufacturers and consumers. 42-HFCS is popular in canned fruits, condiments and other processed foods which need mild sweetness that won't mask natural flavors. Sweeter 55-HFCS has earned a commanding role in soft drinks, ice cream and frozen desserts. Supersweet 90-HFCS is valued in natural and "light" foods, where very little is needed to provide sweetness. Crystalline fructose's capacity to produce greater sweetness in combination with sugar makes it useful in presweetened cereals, instant beverages and other dry mix products.

June 30, 2008 in Ingredients, Labeling | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference CSPI: high fructose corn syrup not "natural":


Hi, interesting blog. Thanks for the read! Oh, by the way, I came across another interesting blog post at:
It’s about lawyer’s websites and Search Engine Optimization. The site has a really good video that provides useful insights. What I found really interesting was the fact that this small San Diego legal directory has been generating over 10,000 unique visitors per month! So obviously, I think their SEO tips are very noteworthy.

Posted by: Jill- San Diego Lasik Doctor | Jun 30, 2008 2:48:47 PM

I found a site that I can lookup all food products that have high fructose in them
Or any other ingredient yellow 5, blue 1
I sign up so any time they put a product in that has high fructose in it
I get an email showing me what it is


Posted by: joan rock | Aug 14, 2008 9:22:40 AM

Post a comment