High Fructose Corn Syrup
By Megan Garrison
The FDA recently rejected a bid to officially change the name of high fructose corn syrup to just “corn sugar.” While this may have seemed like a reasonable request to the members of the Corn Refiners Association, the fact of the matter is that this was definitely a victory for the consumers of the United States.
The bid itself is not entirely unfounded, however. For all intents and purposes, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) does contain all the properties of cane sugar. To be more specific, HFCS contains the same ratio of glucose and fructose as naturally grown cane sugar. The genetic proponents are almost exactly the same. But that’s the catch; they are almost the same, which means that there is a difference.
HFCS is ultimately made from enzymatic corn, which just means that the glucose compounds have been altered to fructose to produce a desired sweetness. It’s like taking a regular piece of corn, which is a type of starch, and genetically altering it to be a sugar. Though this, as of yet, has produced no direct health issues the quantity of HFCS in products is overwhelming. A large portion of the population is consuming more products with this sweetener than is healthy.
As a consumer, switching the names could confuse and shield the real components of HFCS by making it sound like a naturally occurring product, which it is not.