High Fructose Corn Syrup: Disturbing New Research

694247_29859311 Drink For years most dietitians, myself included, have been saying that High Fructose Corn Syrup is pretty much identical to table sugar, mainly because both contain roughly equal amounts of glucose and fructose. A new study out of California questions that assumption. After sending a large variety of soft drinks made with HFCS to a lab for analysis, these scientist found many big brand sodas contain 65 percent fructose, not the 50 or 55 percent most of us believed they had.

The problem: high levels of fructose can promote insulin resistance and may be more damaging to health than other sweeteners. So far, it's just one study and one limited sampling of soft drinks from one area of the country. But you can be sure this is something that needs examining. If the high levels of fructose in soft drinks prove consistent throughout the US, there may be something to the speculation that soft drinks and obesity are closely links.

What is HFCS? It's an inexpensive sugar syrup made by converting the sugar (glucose) in cornstarch to fructose.


  1. Cynthia 1770

    As consumers we have to face this fact. According to current FDA guidelines the CRA and Big Soda can use any %fructose they please. Why? Since all sugars (sucrose,
    fructose, and glucose) have 4cal/g, no matter what the ratio of fru:glu is, the HFCS
    sweetener will always ring in
    at 4 cal/g and the blend will not affect package labeling. There is 18% more fructose in HFCS-65 than in HFCS-55. This is probably not a result of production error, but more likely a change in formula and may I add, with callous disregard for our health. Sadly, we have been duped by the CRA and our livers have taken the hit.
    Cynthia Papierniak, M.S.

    October 28, 2010 at 7:55 am
  2. Therese (CRA)

    It seems as if there were a few errors in the analysis of the sugar content.
    For example:
    •The authors were unable to find sucrose in Mexican Coca-Cola, and concluded that this meant sucrose (table sugar) was not used. However, they did not appear to consider the common effect of sucrose inversion in soft drinks, when the bond of fructose and glucose (which is initially present in sugar) is broken down into free fructose and free glucose (as is present in HFCS).
    •The researchers appear to not understand sucrose inversion, and therefore may well have mis-attributed its effects and miscalculated fructose and glucose levels.
    •The researchers did not stipulate how the samples were prepared or how the solids were measured, both of which could have compromised the results.
    •Fountain dispensers have canisters of syrup concentrate. The concentrate is blended with carbonated water. If the blend rate is not set properly, the level of fructose could be increased.
    •A very limited number of samples were analyzed (for example, one analysis done on one sample from a 14 ounce soft drink.)
    •The amount of maltose found in the beverages was not used in the final calculations, suggesting that the researchers erroneously attributed the higher sugar count to fructose levels.
    You can find out more and join the discussion at http://blog.sweetsurprise.com/2010/10/27/how-much-fructose-is-in-our-soft-drinks
    Therese, Social Media Manager, Corn Refiners Association

    October 28, 2010 at 11:06 am
  3. jordan 12

    In case you would like to be the most effective wherever you research or function, then it’s essential to be a helpful author. It doesn’t necessarily mean tricksy or disingenuous, but clear-cut and persuasive. For our aims, writing is actually a substance to an stop. The stop may be the apparent aspect of an essential theme or viewpoint. So very good you are, and wish the tommorrow of us is going to be better than ahead of.

    November 3, 2010 at 6:59 pm
  4. Cynthia 1770

    Therese (CRA)
    #2 The authors may have overlooked the concept of invert sugar and interpreted a lack of sucrose for HFCS substitution; however this would not have affected the
    fru:glu. By the way, I’ll give the Mexican Coke a pass. Their date yielded a 52:48. That’s close enough to 50:50 given the 4% variance of their internal standards.
    #4 Whether or not the fast food beverage mixer yielded
    dilute or concentrated beverages would only affect the total sugar oncentration not the %fructose.
    #5 While it is true that there were no replicates of each sample tested, I find it rather intersting that three different sodas, Coke, Pepsi, and Sprite all yielded 65% fructose.
    I am looking forward to repeat analysis by another academic institution.

    November 5, 2010 at 8:55 pm
  5. Zebe Pearsall

    To Therese of the “high god” of fast food, HFCS (CFA):
    How many cold drinks a day do you swizzle–or give to your children? Now, please answer honestly. Have you ever given the stuff up for two months–completely–reading labels and not eating fast food to avoid it? You do your best to encourage others to partake of your “high god.” I challenge you to do it–or would the high gods frown on this?
    I encourage others to not wait for research (that is more than likely biased)–just give it up cold turkey like the “drug” it is. Just let it go. Avoid it like the plague, and then experience how you feel. Take the challenge. I repeat, Therese, how many cold drinks do you drink in a day or give to your children?

    December 3, 2010 at 4:34 pm

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