High Fructose Corn Syrup

Corn syrups enriched with fructose are manufactured from syrups that have been treated to contain as much dextrose (glucose) as possible. Nearly all the glucose in these dextrose-rich corn syrups is transformed into fructose with enzymes. The fructose-enriched syrups are then blended with dextrose syrups. After blending, commercial fructose corn syrups contain either 42% or 55% fructose by weight.

It is becoming more common to further process fructose-enriched corn syrups to increase fructose content. These enhanced fructose corn syrups contain at least 95% fructose by weight.

Like ingredient terms permitted for other sweeteners manufactured from starch, the descriptor “high fructose corn syrup” denotes more than one product. The generic term “high fructose corn syrup” or its acronym “HFCS” is used in food and beverage ingredient statements. Thus, the term “high fructose corn syrup” or “HFCS” represents a family of three fundamentally different products, not a unique single ingredient.

The vast majority of the high fructose corn syrup containing 55% fructose is used to sweeten carbonated soft drinks and other flavored beverages. Minor amounts are used in frozen dairy products. Essentially all foods listing “high fructose corn syrup” as an ingredient contain the syrup with 42% fructose. The 95% fructose corn syrup is becoming more common in beverages, canned fruits, confectionery products and dessert syrups.

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