Intrepidation

High fructose corn syrup, by any other name

29 posts in this topic

NEW YORK — The makers of high fructose corn syrup want to sweeten up its image with a new name: corn sugar.

The bid to rename the sweetener by the Corn Refiners Association comes as Americans' concerns about health and obesity have sent consumption of high fructose corn syrup, used in soft drinks but also in bread, cereal and other foods, to a 20-year low.

The group applied Tuesday to the Food and Drug Administration to get the "corn sugar" name approved for use on food labels. They hope a new name will ease confusion about about the sweetener. Some people think it is more harmful or more likely to make them obese than sugar, perceptions for which there is little scientific evidence.

Approval of the new name could take two years, but that's not stopping the industry from using the term now in advertising. There's a new online marketing campaign at www.cornsugar.com and on television. Two new commercials try to alleviate shopper confusion, showing people who say they now understand that "whether it's corn sugar or cane sugar, your body can't tell the difference. Sugar is sugar."

Renaming products has succeeded before. For example, low eurcic acid rapeseed oil became much more popular after becoming "canola oil" in 1988. Prunes tried to shed a stodgy image by becoming "dried plums" in 2000.

The new name would help people understand the sweetener, said Audrae Erickson, president of the Washington-based group.

"It has been highly disparaged and highly misunderstood," she said. She declined to say how much the campaign costs.

Some scientists have linked consumption of full-calorie soda — the vast majority of which is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup — to obesity.

But sugar and high fructose corn syrup are nutritionally the same, and there's no evidence that the sweetener is any worse for the body than sugar, said Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The bottom line is people should consume less of all sugars, Jacobson said.

"Soda pop sweetened with sugar is every bit as conducive to obesity as soda pop sweetened with high fructose corn syrup," he said.

The American Medical Association says there's not enough evidence yet to restrict the use of high fructose corn syrup, although it wants more research.

Still, Americans increasingly are blaming high fructose corn syrup and avoiding it. First lady Michelle Obama has said she doesn't want her daughters eating it.

Parents such as Joan Leib scour ingredient labels and won't buy anything with it. The mother of two in Somerville, Mass., has been avoiding the sweetener for about a year to reduce sweeteners in her family's diet.

"I found it in things that you would never think needed it, or should have it," said Leib, 36. "I found it in jars of pickles, in English muffins and bread. Why do we need extra sweeteners?"

Many companies are responding by removing it from their products. Last month, Sara Lee switched to sugar in two of its breads. Gatorade, Snapple and Hunt's Ketchup very publicly switched to sugar in the past two years.

Advertisement | ad info

The average American ate 35.7 pounds of high fructose corn syrup last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That's down 21 percent from 45.4 pounds 10 years before.

Cane and beet sugar, meanwhile, have hovered around 44 pounds per person per year since the mid-1980s, after falling rapidly in the 1970s when high fructose corn syrup — a cheaper alternative to sugar — gained favor with soft drink makers.

With sales falling in the U.S., the industry is growing in emerging markets like Mexico and revenue has been steady at $3 billion to $4 billion a year, said Credit Suisse senior analyst Robert Moskow. There are five manufacturers in the U.S.: Archer Daniels Midland Inc., Corn Products International, Cargill, Roquette America, and Tate & Lyle.

Corn refiners say their new name better describes the sweetener.

"The name 'corn sugar' more accurately reflects the source of the food (corn), identifies the basic nature of the food (a sugar), and discloses the food's function (a sweetener)," the petition said.

Will shoppers swallow the new name?

The public is skeptical, so the move will be met with criticism, said Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

"This isn't all that much different from any of the negative brands trying to embrace new brand names," he said, adding the change is similar to what ValuJet — whose name was tarnished by a deadly crash in 1996 — did when it bought AirTran's fleet and took on its name.

"They're not saying this is a healthy vitamin, or health product," he said. "They're just trying to move away from the negative associations."

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39169416/?GT1=43001

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know but the Dr.s that wrote the sugar busters diet showed data that show diabetes growth rate was in direct collation to caloric sweetener consumption. Robert Atkins MD also showed that HFCS (corn sugar :rolleyes: ) was the highest listed on the glycemic chart higher than even blood glucose(white bread & beer are equal to B/G)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whatever. How about this? I don't buy the PR here. Not a bit.

Additionally, foreign Coca-Cola and foreign Pepsi (aka Pepsi Throwback) simply tastes better when it's made with cane sugar versus when it's made with Highly Fucked-up Corn Sludge.

I can hardly stomach to drink Pepsi when it's made with HFCS. It's just far too sweet and it tastes horrible after you've had the can open for 15 minutes.

Coke isn't as bad with HFCS, but it has a noticeably processed taste versus foreign Coke made with cane sugar.

I'm glad Meijer decided to sell Coke with cane sugar in my area. I always buy the stuff by the case full when I have the chance and leave the HFCS garbage in the dust.

Edited by whiteknight

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i try to avoid anything with too much sugar these days and i drink all diet pop (not that that is good for you either).

i've actually read articles about HFCS and things like cane sugar are really not much different chemically or in terms of how the body processes them.

sugar is sugar. so i can see why they want to change the name. to be honest, they should be allowed to if they can prove that it is no more harmful than regular sugar.

regarding the throwback pop, i haven't tried any but my father in law actually says he doesn't like the throwback mountain dew compared to the HFCS stuff.

i put creamed honey and regular honey on my peanut butter sandwiches now when i use the trader joe's unsweetened / unsalted peanut butter. MMMMMMM. honey and PB go together like whamma lamma lamma ding dong.

there isn't much point in avoiding sugar for you unless you are also going to make efforts to reduce your starch intake. IMO.

avoiding salt is more important or as important is not overconsuming sugar. I need to follow my own advice more lately!

Edited by regfootball
  • Upvote 1
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HFCS isn't natural, some of it contains mercury from the method of manufacture, and sugar tastes better, lending caramel notes to the flavor instead of just a sickening sweetness. Regardless of what they call it, I'm not eating it, and the corn refiners association can go f@#k themselves for their factually incorrect ads. FACT: your body does NOT treat sugar and HFCS the same; they might both have 4 calories per gram, but they are processed very differently by the body, and yes HFCS has a much higher glycemic index value.

  • Upvote 3
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HFCS isn't natural, some of it contains mercury from the method of manufacture, and sugar tastes better, lending caramel notes to the flavor instead of just a sickening sweetness. Regardless of what they call it, I'm not eating it, and the corn refiners association can go f@#k themselves for their factually incorrect ads. FACT: your body does NOT treat sugar and HFCS the same; they might both have 4 calories per gram, but they are processed very differently by the body, and yes HFCS has a much higher glycemic index value.

Well said. I try whenever possible to avoid HFCS products as well. It's such a gigantic load of BS that they tr to claim your body can't tell the difference. :rolleyes:

I sincerely hope the corn industry suffers massively and companies continue to switch back to cane sugar.

  • Upvote 1
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I sincerely hope the corn industry suffers massively and companies continue to switch back to cane sugar.

This won't happen until US agricultural policy is substantially reformed (which is to say, never). The only reason we have HFCS to begin with is because of corn subsidies and sugar tariffs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It depends what you're making and what your priorities are. If you're making pop that's going to be drunk right away, then real sugar works better, I'm not arguing otherwise. The stuff I make uses 1lb of sugar for every gallon of water and I wouldn't dream of using corn syrup in it.

You know why beer gets you drunk and pop doesn't? Because the pop is already drunk when you get it. :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whether it's Glucose/Fructose or Cane Sugar, it's all still crap regardless. There should be a concerted effort to reduce the consumption of sugary foods altogether.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We should start a High Fructose Corn Syrup forum for as much as it gets bitched about around here.

Technically speaking, it is a combination of sugars, glucose and fructose, in about the same proportions as you'll find in honey. If you're baking something that needs to have a shelf life of longer than a few days, it's good for that; but if you're baking something that's going to be eaten right away, then regular sugar is better.

High Fructose Corn Syrup is neither a panacea nor is it completely worthless; it's a specific ingredient with a specific purpose (preservative and cost effective alternative to regular sugar) and like anything else, too much of it is going to be bad for you. Besides which, it's not like regular sugar is all that healthy for you, unless you consider high blood sugar and rotten teeth to be healthy.

exactly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This won't happen until US agricultural policy is substantially reformed (which is to say, never). The only reason we have HFCS to begin with is because of corn subsidies and sugar tariffs.

farrrrrrr too many "fly over state" votes to lose by doing that.

that's no different then appeasing 'the other groups' however.

at least the folks in the flyover states make a tangible product people need. instead of other countries doing it and holding us hostage by doing so.

iowa for example, first primary state. pretty important to appease them.

Edited by regfootball

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's really difficult to avoid HFCS in a lot of daily, take-for-granted foods.... but since I already drink a lot of soda, I avoid it there.

with regard to baked goods.... I've just been making my own lately. Not because of HFCS, but because I enjoy baking and my bread tastes better then any mass produced store bought stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's really difficult to avoid HFCS in a lot of daily, take-for-granted foods.... but since I already drink a lot of soda, I avoid it there.

with regard to baked goods.... I've just been making my own lately. Not because of HFCS, but because I enjoy baking and my bread tastes better then any mass produced store bought stuff.

Shop at Whole Foods and you can avoid it pretty easily. I've never seen HFCS in anything "organic."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

regarding the throwback pop, i haven't tried any but my father in law actually says he doesn't like the throwback mountain dew compared to the HFCS stuff.

I agree with your father-in-law. Another difference between the two is that MD Throwback also took out the orange flavoring, which ends up leaving behind a considerably blander product.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with your father-in-law. Another difference between the two is that MD Throwback also took out the orange flavoring, which ends up leaving behind a considerably blander product.

Blander product, possibly, but its how I remember MD back in the '70s. Some would say it had a more 'subtle' flavor. ;-)

I would have stocked up on the stuff, but I only drink diet sodas now a days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't like MD Throwback, but sugar Dr. Pepper is way better than HFCS Dr. Pepper.

Agreed on the "vintage" style Dr. Pepper. I can stand to drink the regular stuff, but again, the sugar version is the clear winner.

I've always liked MD Throwback. Current MD is way too sweet for me. I usually stay away from the regular stuff until they release various special flavors for the summer months.

Also, I've despised Sierra Mist until tonight. Picked up a case of Sierra Mist Natural: :thumbsup:

Edited by whiteknight

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MD Throwback is soooooo much better than regular MD. I can't stand stand to drink it, otherwise.

Same.

By the way, the latest issue of Throwback Mt Dew has the orange back in it. Still using the hillbilly package design, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Blander product, possibly, but its how I remember MD back in the '70s. Some would say it had a more 'subtle' flavor. ;-)

I wasn't there to judge. :P I'll ask my father about it... MD is his favorite soda.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.