The bad news: The folks who make this insidious sweetener aim to rebrand it to boost sales.
High-fructose corn syrup is cheaper than cane sugar and acts as a food preservative, too, so the food industry loves the stuff. But it’s been added to so many foods — yogurt, cereal, bread, drinks and even condiments — that researchers have fingered it as a culprit in the obesity epidemic.
The Corn Refiners Association has in the past marketed high-fructose corn syrup as natural. Our Bad Medicine columnist Christopher Wanjek argues otherwise:
“High-fructose corn syrup could be all-natural if cornstarch happened to fall into a vat of alpha-amylase, soak there for a while, then trickle into another vat of glucoamylase, get strained to remove the Aspergillus fungus likely growing on top, and then find its way into some industrial-grade D-xylose isomerase. This funny coincidence didn’t happen in nature until the 1970s in a lab somewhere in Japan.”
Now the Corn Refiners Association plans to ask the FDA to allow high-fructose corn syrup to be called simple “corn sugar” instead, AP reports. And already the group is advertising it with that name. The adds also claims there’s no difference between corn sugar and cane sugar. Hmm.