What a ‘sweet surprise’! HFCS contains more fructose than believed

By Tom Laskawy
Grist

It turns out that the actual amount of fructose in HFCS in particular food products has never been officially disclosed, just assumed. And that assumption, much to the surprise of even the biggest HFCS-is-bad skeptics, has just been proven way off. Researchers from the University of Southern California decided to test actual brand-name sodas — including Coke, Pepsi, and Sprite — to confirm their exact sugar content and makeup. They found that the HFCS in the vast majority contained far more than the presumed 55 percent fructose: in the case of those three brands, it was actually 65 percent fructose.

One of industry’s main arguments against critics’ targeting high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as Public Health Enemy No. 1 has been that HFCS and table sugar are chemically similar. Manufacturers have stated over and over that the most common form of HFCS in use in processed food is at most 55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose — not significantly different from white sugar’s 50/50 fructose/glucose makeup. If you want to read up on the heated debate about whether this focus on the chemistry is misplaced, feel free.

Why is the new study important? It’s because research has shown fructose to be particularly harmful to human health. Unlike excess glucose, which passes through our digestive tract and is excreted, 100 percent of fructose that’s consumed is taken up by the liver. Once there, fructose causes increased fat deposition in the abdominal cavity and increased blood levels of triglycerides — both of which are risk factors for heart disease and diabetes. So, over a lifetime, the HFCS in the 53 gallons of soda per year the average American drinks thus increases their fructose consumption compared to table sugar, and probably adds up to big health problems.

Read full post at Grist

3 responses to “What a ‘sweet surprise’! HFCS contains more fructose than believed

  1. Hi Tom,
    Let’s give the Mexican Coke a pass. The research team came up with
    52:48 which is pretty darn close to 50:50 given the 4% variance in the analysis of their sugar standards. If HFCS-55 was used the ratio between fructose: glucose would be 55:45 or 1.22 in contrast to the ratio found in the Mexican Coke , 52:48 = 1.08. Had HFCS-55 been used one would have seen a wider split. Also, sucrose in an acidic medium tends to dissociate into glucose and fructose, a.k.a “invert sugar”.

    The fact that three different brands, Coke, Pepsi, Sprite, of bottled soda came in with 65% fructose is very alarming. That 65% fructose means that it is 18% more fructose than what it is supposed to contain ( HFCS-55) and a whopping 30% more fructose than the amount of fructose found in Coke bottled before 1984 when sucrose was the sweetener. I am very grateful that the California research team took time to do this simple exercise,
    survey the fructose content in 23 commercial beverages. If what they
    have found can be reproduced by another laboratory , this calls for investigation by the FDA. ( Please, some academic institution pick up the gauntlet.)
    Cynthia Papierniak, M.S.

  2. I was surprised to find out from a blog re candy that our popular drinks and even including some fruit juices have more sugar than candy. However, I think the less candy we eat and the less sugary drinks we use – the better all around.

  3. iamnotyourretard

    HFCS, is literally in everything in your cabinet, pantry and refrigerator. I have emailed a lot of Corporations putting them on notice they are no longer welcome in my house and I am voting with my dollars accordingly. I must not be alone because they are taking notice and looking to change the name to Corn Syrup only, still will HFCS same dog different fleas, ugh!

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