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High Fructose Corn Syrup Wants a New Name

high fructose syrup, corn syrup

A new name for an old enemy?

The Corn Refiners Association has proposed a new name for high fructose corn syrup, the much maligned sweetener found in everything from store-bought bread to ketchup to crackers. The sticky substance made from refined corn (and contains glucose as well as fructose) has been blamed for obesity, diabetes and even hyper-activity in kids. And so, its makers have decided, it needs a new image.

HFCS is really just sugar, but the long chemical-ly name is misleading, they argue. So corn refiners are asking the Food and Drug Administration to allow them to simplify it.

To “corn sugar.”

“Clearly, the name is confusing,” Audrae Erickson, president of the association, told The New York Times. HFCS, or, I suppose, corn sugar, has the same number of calories as regular old sugar. Though some nutritionists once claimed HFCS caused metabolic disorders, that was never proven. The connection to hyperactivity could also never be established.

The bottom line is too much sugar, whether it comes from corn or beets or even honey, is simply not good for health.

The corn association might not want to hear this, but the hysteria that brought down HFCS was one that seems to have gotten people reading labels again, and I doubt “corn sugar” will soften any label-readers stance on too much sweet stuff in store-bought food.  I stopped buying bread that listed HFCS, especially when it was the second ingredient. I also avoid bread that lists honey or plain old “sugar” as one of the most abundant ingredients (it’s hard to avoid it all together in bread and, as for home-baking? Probably not going to happen.)

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Photo: PGward.org

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