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High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)


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A recent study at Rutgers has found that adding HFCS to carbonated drinks "makes them up to 10 times richer in harmful carbonyl compounds - elevated in people with diabetes and blamed for causing diabetic complications such as foot ulcers and eye and nerve damage" than similar drinks made with cane sugar.

http://www.newscientist.com/channel/health...up-in-soda.html

The article stresses that carbonyls have not been shown to cause diabetes itself. I also don't see an analysis of what consumption of this elevated level of carbonyls in a typical soft drink does to human physiology; perhaps that was in the full presentation.

Still, this research seems worth considering.

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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Wow, just finished reading this long thread. There's an hour I'll never get back.

Things I learned from this post.

1) Sugar is addictive

2) Sugar is not addictive

3) HFCS soda tastes worse than cane sweetened soda

4) Never argue with someone who has access to Google :wink:

Eat less sugar. Sugar can cause cravings for more sugar. Eating too much sugar can make you fat. Americans eat too much sugar.

In the immortal words of the homeless man trying out for the job of Rickshaw Boy in a Seinfeld episode "The Government!!!"

Thanks homeless dude...

"It's better to burn out than to fade away"-Neil Young

"I think I hear a dingo eating your baby"-Bart Simpson

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Disclaimer: I haven't read this entire thread, but have glanced at enough to see repeated complaints from members in the U.S. about not finding commercial bread without High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Just in case you're still looking, here's a recommendation: Arnold Health Nut Bread.

I admit that prior to finding this Web site I was one of those weirdos who sent postcards periodically to food companies (well, two) complaining about ingredients such as trans fats in products I otherwise liked. Arnold thrilled me by actually switching to real butter in some of its lines. Moreover, during the days when low-carb diets posed the greatest threat to the industry, Arnold proved the most generous with half-price discounts at supermarkets.

While appearing generally more concerned about nutrition than Pillsbury (a company that has nonetheless begun copying several of its rival's breads), Arnold is no saint. It's interesting that the corporate web site will not provide all the information you'll find by reading labels.

When I conducted a search for the words "high fructose" on its web site, the results listed only five breads and only the ones being marketed for their lack of HFCS. In other words, plenty of HFCS goes into the company's products.

This is the information provided in the pop up window that opens when you click on the phrase "No High Fructose Corn Syrup" in the link I provide in this post:

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is a commonly used sweetener made from processed corn syrup. HFCS sweetness is comparable to sugar (sucrose), less expensive due to the relative abundance of corn and easier to blend and transport because it is a liquid. For these reasons it is used widely as a sugar substitute in the food and beverage industries. However, some consumers find sugar to have a more pure taste.
Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Wow, just finished reading this long thread. There's an hour I'll never get back.

Things I learned from this post.

1) Sugar is addictive

2) Sugar is not addictive

3) HFCS soda tastes worse than cane sweetened soda

4) Never argue with someone who has access to Google  :wink:

Eat less sugar. Sugar can cause cravings for more sugar. Eating too much sugar can make you fat. Americans eat too much sugar.

In the immortal words of the homeless man trying out for the job of Rickshaw Boy in a Seinfeld episode "The Government!!!"

Thanks homeless dude...

Yeah I hear yah.

But for moi. I cannot eat beloved white sugar, corn syrup and white flour on the most casual basis without fricking weight gain. So for me personally it is addictive. Obviously, my genes, my background as a baker, that I'm over 50 blablabla all contribute to this tragedy. The good news is there's lots of things I can eat. The bad news is I want cookies. Not eveyone that tilts the wineglass is an alcoholic. Lots of folks can handle their sugar. Most unfotunately I'm not one of them. Although I've been valiant in my attempts to test test and retest. :rolleyes::raz: Mmmnope it ain't working for me.

Try reading Sugar Blues by Duffy I think it is. More propoganda.

The bad news is I want cookies.

sniff

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  • 2 weeks later...

Today's Wall Street Journal (sorry, subscriber wall, so no link) features an article on how the rising price of corn syrup, due to farmers' sending more and more of their corn to ethanol plants for fuel use, is causing H.J. Heinz to develop new tomatoes with a higher sugar content, thereby cutting down its need to buy corn syrup for its ketchup on the open market.

How else will higher corn syrup prices impact industrial food?

Edited by rlibkind (log)

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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i don't know, but for the most part - i'd like to see HFCS gone from most foods. It's a poison. Plain old Corn syrup does have it's uses, but I'm ok with ketchup made with plain old sugar.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...
Heinz Organic is made in Canada without any corn syrup.

It's the only one we buy.

I don't know that HFCS is really any worse than sugar for you. There have been studies that report that there is no direct link between HFCS and obesity. I think that we all need to remember to consumer sugar and fats in moderation to avoid health problems down the road.

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I don't understand why they can't use other sources to make ethanol. I'd hate to see even more acres planted in corn; it's not healthy for the land or for us. In many foods, they wouldn't even need to substitute sugar for the HFCS; they could just eliminate or drastically reduce the amount of sweeteners in most foods. I bought a can of tomato soup the other day and it had HFCS in it. It was way too sweet.

What has the corn monoculture done for us? Helped to impoverish small farmers or drive them out of business, require the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers to grow it on the same land every year, and fatten the populace. What possible gains could be worth all of this? Enriching a small number of large agribusinesses? It makes me want to boycott corn altogether. I can't imagine that growing corn for ethanol makes any kind of environmental sense!

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Somebody at the UN with a fancy sounding title wants a five year ban on using food crops for fuel. Says we need to make fuel out of what's left over after the harvest not the harvest itself. I think he's on to something.

"And in the meantime, listen to your appetite and play with your food."

Alton Brown, Good Eats

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I am aware of the correlation between rising obesity rates and HFCS.

Wikipedia: "There is a striking correlation between the rise of obesity in the US and the use of HFCS for sweetening beverages and foods, but it is not clear whether this is coincidence or a causal relationship. Some critics of HFCS do not claim that it is any worse than similar quantities of sucrose would be, but rather focus on its prominent role in the overconsumption of sugar."

A correlation doesn't necessarily indicate a cause and effect, and that's the only point I am trying to make. I just don't think it should be blamed entirely for the rising rates of obesity in the US. How can you explain the rising childhood obesity rates in Australia and other countries where HFCS isn't even used?

I just feel that we need to remember overconsumption of anything leads to health problems, and not place the blame on one particular thing.

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I can't imagine that growing corn for ethanol makes any kind of environmental sense!

Truth be told, it doesn't -- IIRC it takes more energy to produce a gallon of ethanol than is generated by burning it.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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A correlation doesn't necessarily indicate a cause and effect, and that's the only point I am trying to make.

Indeed, obesity and diabetes are also strongly correlated with things like telephone poles per capita and plastic bag use.

--

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anyone caught this yet?

http://www.kingcorn.net/

I want to see it, but I haven't had a chance yet

Looks like a must see.

While HFCS is getting a bad rap where is the debate about the stuff they inject into live stock to make them produce more? I think that has more to do with an obese American than sugar.

"And in the meantime, listen to your appetite and play with your food."

Alton Brown, Good Eats

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A correlation doesn't necessarily indicate a cause and effect, and that's the only point I am trying to make.

Indeed, obesity and diabetes are also strongly correlated with things like telephone poles per capita and plastic bag use.

I understand your point, and I am not saying that HFCS doesn't play a part in this epidemic, but I don't think it should be blamed entirely. There are so many other factors at work. Also, as I stated earlier, why have obesity rates risen in Australia when they do not even have HFCS over there?? I just feel it is a combination of things that contribute to the problem, and we cannot point our finger at one in particular. There isn't one easy solution, but instead we need to focus on living healthier lifestyles overall.

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A recent study at Rutgers has found that adding HFCS to carbonated drinks "makes them up to 10 times richer in harmful carbonyl compounds - elevated in people with diabetes and blamed for causing diabetic complications such as foot ulcers and eye and nerve damage" than similar drinks made with cane sugar.

http://www.newscientist.com/channel/health...up-in-soda.html

Though you have quoted the New Scientist article correctly, I am not sure that New Scientist has summarized the research in question correctly. I hope someone can clarify this. The abstract states that Chi-Tang Ho et al compared HFCS-sweetened drinks to a diet soft drink control, NOT to a sucrose sweetened control.

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has been added in various foods and beverages in these three decades. Many epidemic studies have discussed about the large consumption of sugars, such as fructose, sucrose and sweeteners. In our study, reactive carbonyl species (RCS) such as glyoxal (GO), methylglyoxal (MGO) and 3-deoxyglucosone (3-DOG) were detected by their corresponding quinoxaline derivatives using HPLC-UV method in HFCS carbonated soft drinks. From the comparison of HFCS and non-HFCS (diet) carbonated soft drink, it is an apparent conclusion that HFCS is the major source of RCS found in beverages. 5-(Hydroxymethyl)-2-furfural (5-HMF) is detected in HFCS by GC-FID method. The presence of 3-DOG and acid condition is a favorable condition for the production of 5-HMF. The variations of RCS and 5-HMF in the HFCS beverage with addition of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) during storage have been further explored.

So, two things I would like to see:

1. First and most obviously, I would like to see analytic data showing the difference in reactive carbonyl content between HFCS- and sucrose-sweetened soft drinks where as many other variables as possible are controlled. As stated above, the current study seems only to compare the reactive carbonyl content of HFCS- to that of a diet soft drink, not to sucrose-sweetened soft drinks.

2. Second, and more definitively, I would like to see a simple metabolic study examining the effect of HFCS soda versus sucrose soda on reactive carbonyl levels in vivo, in the body. If HFCS-sweetened drinks increased the levels of reactive carbonyls in the body while sucrose-sweetened drinks did not, that would be much stronger evidence.

Edited by Patrick S (log)

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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There appears to be another peculiarity with Chi-Tang Ho et al's line of reasoning, at least as it is being presented by the media. The line of reasoning seems to be that since sucrose itself does not contain carbonyls, then soft drinks sweetened with sucrose can not contain carbonyls. The idea is that since glucose and fructose are bound together in sucrose, there is no unbound glucose and fructose available to participate in the forming of carbonyls.

However, this overlooks a simple fact that has been known for many years now -- when a soft drink is sweetened with sucrose, over time the acid in the soft drink will actually hydrolyze sucrose into its glucose and fructose components. In fact, according to Marov and Dowling (1990), at typical storage times and temperatures, more than 90% of the sucrose in soft drinks can be hydrolyzed. Therefore, even if a soft drink is sweetened with sucrose, unbound sucrose and fructose will start to appear immediately and be available to participate in carbonyl forming reactions.

Marov, G.J., Dowling, J.F., 1990. Sugar in beverages. In: Pennington,

N.L., Baker, C.W. (Eds.), Sugar: A User’s Guide to Sucrose, vol. 13.

Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, pp. 189–211

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Therefore, even if a soft drink is sweetened with sucrose, unbound sucrose and fructose will start to appear immediately and be available to participate in carbonyl forming reactions.

Does this occur in the syrup used in soda machines as well?

On second thought that whole "immediate" thing kinda answers that.

Why do I go on with this post anyway? Because purple that's why.

"And in the meantime, listen to your appetite and play with your food."

Alton Brown, Good Eats

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Therefore, even if a soft drink is sweetened with sucrose, unbound sucrose and fructose will start to appear immediately and be available to participate in carbonyl forming reactions.

Does this occur in the syrup used in soda machines as well?

On second thought that whole "immediate" thing kinda answers that.

That would depend on the pH of the syrup. There several types of acidulants used in soft drinks. Some of them (like phosphoric and citric acids) I imagine would be present in the syrup along with the sucrose, so yes, I assume that at least some sucrose hydrolysis would occur. However, since carbonic acid presumably would not form in the drink until the carbonated water is added, I would assume that a drink created "on the spot" by combining syrup and carbonated water would have less of its sucrose hydrolyzed.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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