What is it?

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is a sweetener made from corn. It’s found in many food products across the United States.
  • It is widely used in the United States as, due to the tarrifs on imported sugar, and the huge subsidies offered to corn farmers, it is a far cheaper product to add as a sweetener than regular cane sugar.
  • It is not widely used outside of the United States, although Japan uses it in about a quarter of products that require sweetening. It is not in widespread use in the European Union.
  • The tariffs and subsidies seem to be the main reason that it is used so widely in the US. Global corporations such as Coca-Cola use sugar throughout most of the rest of the world, but HFCS in the US. Many Coke aficionados will search out Mexican Coke for these reason, saying that the Mexican variety has both better taste, and less health risk.
  • In 1983, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration formally listed high fructose corn syrup as safe for use in food and reaffirmed that decision in 1996.
  • The corn refiners maintain that HFCS offers many benefits, including keeping food fresh, enhancing food flavors, and enabling baked good to brown better.
  • Of course, if one makes food fresh when needed, adds good ingredients, and follows simple steps to bake correctly, HFCS content is surely irrelevant for those reasons alone.

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