High Fructose Corn Syrup in Food

High Fructose Corn Syrup in Food

High fructose corn syrup
often plays a key role in the integrity of food and beverage products that has little to do with sweetening.

Healthy Breakfast Foods With HFCS

Here are some examples in popular products:

Baked goodsHigh fructose corn syrup gives a pleasing brown crust to breads and cakes; contributes fermentable sugars to yeast-raised products; reduces sugar crystallization during baking for soft-moist textures; enhances flavors of fruit fillings.
YogurtHigh fructose corn syrup provides fermentable sugars; enhances fruit and spice flavors; controls moisture to prevent separation; regulates tartness.
Spaghetti sauces, ketchup, and condimentsHigh fructose corn syrup enhances flavor and balance – replaces the “pinch of table sugar" grandma added to enhance spice flavors; balances the variable tartness of tomatoes.
BeveragesHigh fructose corn syrup provides greater stability in acidic carbonated sodas than sucrose; flavors remain consistent and stable over the entire shelf- life of the product.
Granola, breakfast and energy barsHigh fructose corn syrup enhances moisture control, retards spoilage and extends product freshness; provides soft texture; enhances spice and fruit flavors.
Canned and frozen fruitsHigh fructose corn syrup protects the firm texture of canned fruits and reduces freezer burn in frozen fruits; enhances fruit flavors.
Frozen beverage concentratesHigh fructose corn syrup has a lower freezing point, so frozen beverage concentrates have the added convenience of being pourable straight from the freezer and easier for consumers to thaw and mix with water.

Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

Almost half of tested samples of commercial high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contained mercury, which was also found in nearly a third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products where high-fructose corn syrup is the first- or second-highest labeled ingredient, according to two new U.S. studies.

High-fructose corn syrup has replaced sugar as the sweetener in many beverages and foods such as breads, cereals, breakfast bars, lunch meats, yogurts, soups and condiments. On average, Americans consume about 12 teaspoons per day of HFCS, but teens and other high consumers can take in 80 percent more HFCS than average.

"Mercury is toxic in all its forms. Given how much high-fructose corn syrup is consumed by children, it could be a significant additional source of mercury never before considered. We are calling for immediate changes by industry and the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] to help stop this avoidable mercury contamination of the food supply," the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy's Dr. David Wallinga, a co-author of both studies, said in a prepared statement.

In the first study, published in current issue of Environmental Health, researchers found detectable levels of mercury in nine of 20 samples of commercial high-fructose corn syrup.

And in the second study, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), a non-profit watchdog group, found that nearly one in three of 55 brand-name foods contained mercury. The chemical was found most commonly in high-fructose corn syrup-containing dairy products, dressings and condiments.

But an organization representing the refiners is disputing the results published in Environmental Health.

"This study appears to be based on outdated information of dubious significance," said Audrae Erickson, president of the Corn Refiners Association, in a statement. "Our industry has used mercury-free versions of the two re-agents mentioned in the study, hydrochloric acid and caustic soda, for several years. These mercury-free re-agents perform important functions, including adjusting pH balances."

However, the IATP told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that four plants in Georgia, Tennessee, Ohio and West Virginia still use "mercury-cell" technology that can lead to contamination.

IATP's Ben Lilliston also told HealthDay that the Environmental Health findings were based on information gathered by the FDA in 2005.

And the group's own study, while not peer-reviewed, was based on products "bought off the shelf in the autumn of 2008," Lilliston added.

The use of mercury-contaminated caustic soda in the production of HFCS is common. The contamination occurs when mercury cells are used to produce caustic soda.

"The bad news is that nobody knows whether or not their soda or snack food contains high-fructose corn syrup made from ingredients like caustic soda contaminated with mercury. The good news is that mercury-free HFCS ingredients exist. Food companies just need a good push to only use those ingredients," Wallinga said in his prepared statement.
High Fructose Corn Syrup...