The Corn Refiners Association petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) several years ago requesting a name change for high fructose corn syrup. According to the Association, the change was to alleviate confusion about the ingredient. However, some believed it was nothing more than a way to trick consumers who had become wary of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
Between 1970 and 2005, corn sweeteners like HFCS replaced cane and beet sugars at an increasing rate and became the leading substitute for sucrose because of its lower cost. Analysis conducted in 2005 found that HFCS-42 (one of the popular blends of HFCS) cost an average of $13.6 cents per pound compared to beet sugar that averaged $29.5 cents per pound. Because of its liquid form it is easier to blend in foods than sugar and has become a common sweetening agent in soft drinks, sports drinks, and condiments as well as numerous other processed foods.
Last month the FDA formally rejected the name change request largely because the FDA defines sugar as a solid, dried, and crystallized food and not liquid syrup. Did you know that HFCS is just one of many sweeteners produced through the corn refinery process? Let's get to know some of them--and take a look at the corn syrup debate.
Corn syrup has been used in baking and to preserve canned fruits for a long time because of its special properties.
Dextrose provides a little sweetness while also adding bulk and texture that makes it useful as a sweetening agent in gums, jams, and jellies. Dextrose (currently referred to as corn syrup) is important for people seeking sweetening agents but are also fructose-intolerant.
Crystalline fructose is the sweetest of all corn-based sweeteners and is common in reduced-calories foods and beverages.
Polyols are a group of low-calorie refined corn sweeteners frequently listed as erythritol, maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol and more commonly known as sugar alcohols.
Confused about whether to avoid or occasionally imbibe in these sweeteners? Here are some great resources to help you learn more as you make choices to reach your weight and health goals.
What do you think about the request to change the name of high fructose corn syrup to corn sugar? Do you think you would understand HFCS better if it had a more "sugary" name?
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