America’s Addiction: Sugar Sugar–Pure White and Deadly–Fructose Is Poison–Are You A Sugar Addict?–Videos

Posted on February 28, 2012. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, Communications, Economics, Education, Federal Government, government, government spending, Health Care, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Taxes, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Archies – Sugar Sugar (’69)

Sugar, Oh, Honey Honey.

 You are my candy girl, and you got me wanting you.

 Honey, Oh, Sugar, Sugar.

You are my candy girl and you got me wanting you.

I just can’t believe the loveliness of loving you.

 (I just can’t believe it’s true).

 I just can’t believe the wonder of this feeling too.

(I just can’t believe it’s true).

Sugar, Oh, Honey Honey.

You are my candy girl, and you got me wanting you.

Honey, Oh, Sugar, Sugar.

You are my candy girl and you got me wanting you.

When I kissed you girl, I knew how sweet a kiss could be.

(I know how sweet a kiss can be)

Like the summer sunshine pour your sweetness over me.

 (Pour your sweetness over me).

Oh pour little sugar on me honey (sugar)

Pour little sugar on me baby (honey honey)

When you make love so sweet (Yeah Yeah Yeah.)

Pour little sugar on me (oh yeah)

Pour little sugar on me honey

 Pour little sugar on me baby I’m gonna make love so sweet (hey hey hey)

Pour little sugar on me honey.

Ah sugar. Oh honey, honey.

 You are my candy, girl, and you got me wanting you.

Oh honey (honey, honey, sugar, sugar)

 Sugar, sugar You are my candy girl.


High Fructose Corn Syrup 

Robert “Sugar: Bitter Truth” Lustig on ABCNews

Big Sugar

Before Lustig’s Bitter Truth – The Sugar Trap – 1986 – 1 of 6 – Documentary

Before Lustig’s Bitter Truth – The Sugar Trap – 1986 – 2 of 6 – Documentary

Before Lustig’s Bitter Truth – The Sugar Trap – 1986 – 3 of 6 – Documentary

Before Lustig’s Bitter Truth – The Sugar Trap – 1986 – 4 of 6 – Documentary

Before Lustig’s Bitter Truth – The Sugar Trap – 1986 – 5 of 6 – Documentary

Before Lustig’s Bitter Truth – The Sugar Trap – 1986 – 6 of 6 – Documentary

The Politics of Obesity – Freedomain Radio Interviews Dr. Robert H. Lustig 

Sugar: The Bitter Truth- March 24, 2011

Sugar: The Bitter Truth 

Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology, explores the damage caused by sugary foods. He argues that fructose (too much) and fiber (not enough) appear to be cornerstones of the obesity epidemic through their effects on insulin. Series: UCSF Mini Medical School for the Public [7/2009] [Health and Medicine] [Show ID: 16717]

Sugar: The Bitter Truth (The SHORT Version) 

Are You a Sugar Addict?

DEATH BY SUGAR by Jorge Cruise 

The Sugar Epidemic: Policy versus Politics 

Sugar Dangers – Dr. Richard Johnson Lecture (Part 1 of 3) 

Sugar Dangers – Dr. Richard Johnson Lecture (Part 2 of 3) 

Sugar Dangers – Dr. Richard Johnson Lecture (Part 3 of 3) 

Dr. Mercola Interviews Dr. Richard Johnson on Fructose (Part 1 of 5) 

Dr. Mercola Interviews Dr. Richard Johnson on Fructose (Part 2 of 5)

Dr. Mercola Interviews Dr. Richard Johnson on Fructose (Part 3 of 5)

Dr. Mercola Interviews Dr. Richard Johnson on Fructose (Part 4 of 5)

Dr. Mercola Interviews Dr. Richard Johnson on Fructose (Part 5 of 5)

Dr. Mark’s Minute – High Fructose Corn Syrup is POISON  Reason #1

Dr. Mark’s Minute – High Fructose Corn Syrup is POISON Reason #2

Dr. Mark’s Minute – High Fructose Corn Syrup is POISON: Reason #3

Mark’s Minute – High Fructose Corn Syrup is POISON: Reason #4


Conspiracy for Fat America & High-Fructose Corn Syrup

High-Fructose Corn Syrup Truth, Still Not Sexy, HFCS

How much sugar does the average american consume?

The Great Sugar Shaft

Sugar Daddy: Taubes tells all

Larry Graham, Chairman of the Coalition for Sugar Reform, Discusses Need to Reform the Sugar Program

Fran Smith, Board Member & Adjunct Fellow at CEI, on the Economic Impact of the Sugar Program

The Case Against the Sugar Program on CNBC Squawk Box


“…Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose,[1] characterized by a sweet flavor.

Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet. It and the other sugars are present in natural and refined forms in many foods, and the refined forms are also added to many food preparations.

The world produced about 168 million tonnes of sugar in 2011.[2] The world consumed an average of 24 kilograms of sugar for every human being of all ages, equivalent to over 260 food calories per day per human being.[3]

In food, “sugars” refer to all monosaccharides and disaccharides present in food, but excludes polyols,[4] while in its singular form, “sugar” normally refers to sucrose. The other sugars are usually known by more specific names — glucose, fructose or fruit sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc.

Sugar production and trade has influenced human history in many ways. In modern times, sugar influenced the formation of colonies, perpetuation of slavery, transition to indentured labor, migration and abuse of people, wars between 19th century sugar trade controlling nations, ethnic composition and political structure of the new world.[5][6]

Ancient times and Middle Ages

Sugar has been produced in the Indian subcontinent[7] since ancient times. It was not plentiful or cheap in early times—honey was more often used for sweetening in most parts of the world.

Amongst the ancient manuscripts of China, dated to be from the eight century BC, one of the earliest historical mention of sugar cane is included along with the fact that their knowledge of sugar cane was derived from India.[8] It appears that in about 500 BC, residents of present-day India began making sugar syrup and cooling it in large flat bowls to make crystals that were easier to store and transport. In the local Indian language, these crystals were called khanda (खण्ड), which is the source of the word candy.[9]

Originally, people chewed sugarcane raw to extract its sweetness. Sugarcane was a native of tropical South Asia and Southeast Asia.[10] Different species likely originated in different locations with Saccharum barberi originating in India and S. edule and S. officinarum coming from New Guinea.[10][11]

Sugar remained relatively unimportant until the Indians discovered methods of turning sugarcane juice into granulated crystals that were easier to store and to transport.[12] Crystallized sugar was discovered by the time of the Imperial Guptas, around 5th century AD.[12] Indian sailors, consumers of clarified butter and sugar, carried sugar by various trade routes.[12] Traveling Buddhist monks brought sugar crystallization methods to China.[13] During the reign of Harsha (r. 606–647) in North India, Indian envoys in Tang China taught sugarcane cultivation methods after Emperor Taizong of Tang (r. 626–649) made his interest in sugar known, and China soon established its first sugarcane cultivation in the seventh century.[14] Chinese documents confirm at least two missions to India, initiated in 647 AD, for obtaining technology for sugar-refining.[15] In South Asia, the Middle East and China, sugar became a staple of cooking and desserts.

The triumphant progress of Alexander the Great was halted on the banks of river Indus by the refusal of his troops to go further east. They saw people in the Indian subcontinent growing sugarcane and making granulated, salt-like sweet powder, locally called साखर, pronounced as saccharum (ζάκχαρι). On their return journey, the Macedonian soldiers carried the “honey bearing reeds.” Sugarcane remained a limited crop for over a millennium, sugar a rare commodity, and traders of sugar wealthy. Venice, at the height of its financial power, was the chief sugar-distributing center of Europe.[8]

Crusaders brought sugar home with them to Europe after their campaigns in the Holy Land, where they encountered caravans carrying “sweet salt”. Early in the 12th century, Venice acquired some villages near Tyre and set up estates to produce sugar for export to Europe, where it supplemented honey as the only other available sweetener.[16] Crusade chronicler William of Tyre, writing in the late 12th century, described sugar as “very necessary for the use and health of mankind”.[17]

Modern history

In August 1492, Christopher Columbus stopped at La Gomera in the Canary Islands, for wine and water, intending to stay only four days. He became romantically involved with the Governor of the island, Beatriz de Bobadilla y Ossorio, and stayed a month. When he finally sailed she gave him cuttings of sugarcane, which became the first to reach the New World.

Sugar was a luxury in Europe prior to 18th century. It became widely popular in 18th century, then graduated to becoming a necessity in the 19th century. This evolution of taste and demand for sugar as an essential food ingredient unleashed major economic and social changes.[5] It drove, in part, colonization of tropical islands and nations where labor-intensive sugarcane plantations and sugar manufacturing could thrive. The demand for cheap and docile labor for harsh inhumane work, in part, first drove slave trade from Africa (in particular West Africa), followed by indentured labor trade from South Asia (in particular India).[6][18][19] Millions of slave and indentured laborers were brought into the Caribbean, Indian Ocean, Pacific Islands, East Africa, Natal, north and eastern parts of South America, and southeast Asia. The modern ethnic mix of many nations, settled in last two centuries, has been influenced by sugar.[20][21][22]

Sugar also led to some industrialization of former colonies. For example, Lieutenant J. Paterson, of the Bengal establishment, persuaded British government that sugar cane could be cultivated in British India with many advantages, and at less expense than in the West Indies. As a result, a number of sugar factories were established in Bihar in British India.[23]

More recently it is manufactured in very large quantities in many countries, largely from sugarcane and sugar beet. In processed foods it has increasingly been supplanted by corn syrup.


The etymology reflects the spread of the commodity. The English word “sugar”[24] originates from the Arabic word سكر sukkar, itself from the Persian shakar,[25] itself derived from Sanskrit शर्करा sharkara.[26] It most probably came to England by way of Italian merchants. The contemporary Italian word is zucchero, whereas the Spanish and Portuguese words, azúcar and açúcar respectively, have kept a trace of the Arabic definite article. The Old French word is zuchre – contemporary French sucre. The earliest Greek word attested is σάκχαρις (sákkʰaris).[27][28] A satisfactory pedigree explaining the spread of the word has yet to be done. Note that the English word jaggery (meaning “coarse brown Indian sugar”) has similar ultimate etymological origins (presumably in Sanskrit).


The five largest producers of sugar in 2010 were Brazil, India, European Union, China and Thailand. The largest exporters in 2010 were Brazil, Thailand, Australia and India; while the largest importers were EU-27, United States and Indonesia. Currently, Brazil is the highest per capita consumer of sugar, followed by Australia, Thailand and EU-27.[29][30]


The per capita consumption of refined sugar in America has varied between 27 to 46 kilograms in the last 40 years. In 2008, American per capita total consumption of sugar and sweeteners – exclusive of artificial sweeteners – equaled 61.9 kilograms per year (136.2 pounds).[31][32]

Sugar is an important component of human food balance. According to FAO, about 24 kilograms of sugar – equivalent to over 260 food calories per day – was, on average, consumed annually per human being of all ages in the world in 1999. Even with rising human population, sugar consumption is expected to increase to 25.1 kilograms per human being by 2015.[3]

Health effects

Some studies involving the health impact of sugars are effectively inconclusive. The WHO and FAO meta studies have shown directly contrasting impacts of sugar in refined and unrefined forms [33] and since most studies do not use a population who are not consuming any “free sugars” at all, the baseline is effectively flawed (or as the report puts it, the studies are “limited”). Hence there are articles such as Consumer Reports on Health that said in 2008, “Some of the supposed dietary dangers of sugar have been overblown. Many studies have debunked the idea that it causes hyperactivity, for example.”[34] though the article does continue to discuss other health impacts of sugar. Other articles and studies refer to the increasing evidence supporting the links to hyperactivity.[35] The WHO FAO meta-study suggests that such results are expected when some studies do not effectively segregate or control for free sugars as opposed to sugars still in their natural form (entirely unrefined) while others do.

Blood glucose levels

Sugar, because of its simpler chemical structure, may raise blood glucose levels more quickly than starch. This finding suggests that this basic differentiation between starch and sugar is insufficient reason to segregate these two substances for controlling blood glucose levels in diabetics, the idea behind carbohydrate counting.[36] A more effective distinction could use that suggested by multiple meta-studies between free sugars and naturally-occurring sugars which do suggest different impacts on health.[33][37]

Obesity and diabetes

Studies appear to conflict with some suggesting eating excessive amounts of sugar does not increase the risk of diabetes, although the extra calories from consuming large amounts of sugar can lead to obesity, which may increase the risk of diabetes,[38][39][39][40][41][42][42][43] while others show links between refined sugar (free sugar) consumption and the onset of diabetes, and negative correlation with the consumption of fiber[44][45][46][47] including a 2010 meta-analysis of eleven studies involving 310,819 participants and 15,043 cases of type 2 diabetes[48] that found that “SSBs (sugar-sweetened beverages) may increase the risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes not only through obesity but also by increasing dietary glycemic load, leading to insulin resistance, β-cell dysfunction, and inflammation”. As an overview to consumption related to chronic disease and obesity, the World Health Organization’s independent meta-studies specifically distinguish free sugars (“all monosaccharides and disaccharides added to foods by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, plus sugars naturally present in honey, syrups and fruit juices”) from sugars naturally present in food. The reports prior to 2000 set the limits for free sugars at a maximum of 10% of carbohydrate intake, measured by energy, rather than mass, and since 2002 [33] have aimed for a level across the entire population at less than 10%. The consultation committee recognized that this goal is “controversial. However, the Consultation considered that the studies showing no effect of free sugars on excess weight have limitations.” (p. 57).

Cardiovascular disease

A number of studies in animals have suggested that chronic consumption of refined sugars can contribute to metabolic and cardiovascular dysregulation. Some experts have suggested that refined fructose is more damaging than refined glucose in terms of cardiovascular risk.[49] Cardiac performance has been shown to be impaired by switching from a carbohydrate diet including fiber to a high-carbohydrate diet.[50]

Switching saturated fatty acids for carbohydrates with high glycemic index values shows a statistically significant positive association with the risk of myocardial infarction.[51]

Other studies have found links between high fat and high glycemic index carbohydrates accelerates the development of cardiac pathology and pump dysfunction in hypertension despite no signs of diabetes and only a modest level of obesity, suggesting that the link between obesity and coronary heart disease should be shifted towards macronutrients and the high glycemic load typical of the “junk-food” diet.[52]

The consumption of added sugars has been positively associated with multiple measures known to increase cardiovascular disease risk amongst adolescents as well as adults.[53]

Studies are suggesting the impact of refined carbohydrates or high glycemic load carbohydrates are more significant that the impact of saturated fatty acids on cardiovascular disease.[54][55]

A high dietary intake of sugar (in this case, sucrose or disaccharide) consumption can substantially increase the risk for heart- and vascular diseases. According to a new Swedish study from Lund University and Malmö University College of 4301 persons, sugar was associated with higher levels of bad blood fat with a high level of small and medium LDL and reduced HDL blood fat. However the amount of fat intake didn’t affect the blood fats. As a side note, moderate quantities of alcohol and protein were linked to the good HDL blood fat.[56]

Alzheimer disease

It is suggested that Alzheimer Disease is linked with the western diet, characterised by excessive dietary intake of sugar, refined carbohydrates (with a high glycaemic index) and animal products (with a high content of saturated fats) and decreased intake of unrefined seeds. There are also prevention hypotheses that address the diet issue with mono-supplements of specific vitamins or drugs that do not show appreciable results.[57]

Dietary pattern analysis, which considers overall eating patterns comparing those with Alzheimer’s disease as compared to healthy controls using factor analysis, gives a major eating pattern for those with Alzheimer’s characterised by a high intake of meat, butter, high-fat dairy products, eggs and refined sugar, while the other major eating pattern for those without Alzheimer’s was characterised by a high intake of grains and vegetables.[58]

One group of experimenters compared a normal rodent diet (19% protein, 5% fat and 60% complex carbohydrate) with free water access against the same diet but with free access to a 10% sucrose solution. Their data underscore the potential role of dietary sugar in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease and suggest that controlling the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages may be an effective way to curtail the risk of developing Alzheimer disease.[59]

Macular degeneration

There are links between free sugar consumption and macular degeneration in older age.[60]

Tooth decay

In regard to contributions to tooth decay, the role of free sugars is also recommended to be below an absolute maximum of 10% of energy intake, with a minimum of zero. There is “convincing evidence from human intervention studies, epidemiological studies, animal studies and experimental studies, for an association between the amount and frequency of free sugars intake and dental caries” while other sugars (complex carbohydrate) consumption is normally associated with a lower rate of dental caries.[37] Lower rates of tooth decay have been seen in individuals with hereditary fructose intolerance.[61]



The term sugar usually refers to sucrose, which is also called “table sugar” or “saccharose.” Sucrose is a white crystalline disaccharide. It is often obtained from sugar cane or sugar beet.[62] Sucrose is the most popular of the various sugars for flavoring, as well as properties (such as mouthfeel, preservation, and texture) of beverages and food.


“Sugar” can also be used to refer to water-soluble crystalline carbohydrates with varying sweetness. Sugars include monosaccharides (e.g., glucose, fructose, galactose), disaccharides (e.g., sucrose, lactose, maltose), trisaccharides, and oligosaccharides,[63] in contrast to complex carbohydrates such as polysaccharides. Corn syrup, dextrose, crystalline fructose, and maltose, for example, are used in manufacturing and preparing food.

Baking weight/mass volume relationship

Different culinary sugars have different densities due to differences in particle size and inclusion of moisture.

The Domino Sugar Company has established the following volume to weight conversions:

  • Brown sugar 1 cup = 48 teaspoons ~ 195 g = 6.88 oz
  • Granular sugar 1 cup = 48 teaspoons ~ 200 g = 7.06 oz
  • Powdered sugar 1 cup = 48 teaspoons ~ 120 g = 4.23 oz

Bulk density[64]

  • Dextrose sugar 0.62 g/mL
  • Granulated sugar 0.70 g/mL
  • Powdered sugar 0.56 g/mL
  • Beet sugar 0.80 g/mL

Purity standards

The International Commission for Uniform Methods of Sugar Analysis sets standards for the measurement of the purity of refined sugar, known as ICUMSA numbers; lower numbers indicate a higher level of purity in the refined sugar.[65]


Sucrose: a disaccharide of glucose (left) and fructose (right), important molecules in the body.
Main article: Carbohydrate

Scientifically, sugar loosely refers to a number of carbohydrates, such as monosaccharides, disaccharides, or oligosaccharides. Monosaccharides are also called “simple sugars,” the most important being glucose. Almost all sugars have the formula CnH2nOn (n is between 3 and 7). Glucose has the molecular formula C6H12O6. The names of typical sugars end with “-ose,” as in “glucose”, “dextrose”, and “fructose”. Sometimes such words may also refer to any types of carbohydrates soluble in water. The acyclic mono- and disaccharides contain either aldehyde groups or ketone groups. These carbon-oxygen double bonds (C=O) are the reactive centers. All saccharides with more than one ring in their structure result from two or more monosaccharides joined by glycosidic bonds with the resultant loss of a molecule of water (H2O) per bond.

Monosaccharides in a closed-chain form can form glycosidic bonds with other monosaccharides, creating disaccharides (such as sucrose) and polysaccharides (such as starch). Enzymes must hydrolyze or otherwise break these glycosidic bonds before such compounds become metabolized. After digestion and absorption the principal monosaccharides present in the blood and internal tissues include glucose, fructose, and galactose. Many pentoses and hexoses can form ring structures. In these closed-chain forms, the aldehyde or ketone group remains non-free, so many of the reactions typical of these groups cannot occur. Glucose in solution exists mostly in the ring form at equilibrium, with less than 0.1% of the molecules in the open-chain form.

Natural polymers of sugars

Biopolymers of sugars are common in nature. Through photosynthesis plants produce glucose, which has the formula C6H12O6, and convert it for storage as an energy reserve in the form of other carbohydrates such as starch, or (as in cane and beet) as sucrose (table sugar). Sucrose has the chemical formula C12H22O11. Starch, consisting of two different polymers of glucose, is a readily degradable chemical energy stored by cells, convertible to other types of energy.

Cellulose is a polymer of glucose used by plants as structural component.

DNA and RNA are built up of the sugars ribose and deoxyribose. The sugar in DNA is deoxyribose, and has the formula C5H10O4.

High-fructose corn syrup

“…High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)—also called glucose-fructose syrup[1][2] in the UK, glucose/fructose[3] in Canada, and high-fructose maize syrup in other countries—comprises any of a group of corn syrups that has undergone enzymatic processing to convert some of its glucose into fructose to produce a desired sweetness. In the United States, consumer foods and products typically use high-fructose corn syrup as a sweetener. It has become very common in processed foods and beverages in the U.S., including breads, cereals, breakfast bars, lunch meats, yogurts, soups and condiments.[4]

According to the USDA, HFCS consists of 24% water, and the rest sugars. The most widely used varieties of high-fructose corn syrup are: HFCS 55 (mostly used in soft drinks), approximately 55% fructose and 42% glucose; and HFCS 42 (used in beverages, processed foods, cereals and baked goods), approximately 42% fructose and 53% glucose.[5][6] HFCS-90, approximately 90% fructose and 10% glucose, is used in small quantities for specialty applications, but primarily is used to blend with HFCS 42 to make HFCS 55.[7]

In the U.S., HFCS is among the sweeteners that have primarily replaced sucrose (table sugar) in the food industry. Factors for this include governmental production quotas of domestic sugar, subsidies of U.S. corn, and an import tariff on foreign sugar; all of which combine to raise the price of sucrose to levels above those of the rest of the world, making HFCS less costly for many sweetener applications. Critics of the extensive use of HFCS in food sweetening argue that the highly processed substance is more harmful to humans than regular sugar, contributing to weight gain by affecting normal appetite functions[8] , and that in some foods HFCS may be a source of mercury, a known neurotoxin.[9][10] The Corn Refiners Association disputes these claims and maintains that HFCS is comparable to table sugar.[11] Studies by the American Medical Association suggest “it appears unlikely that HFCS contributes more to obesity or other conditions than sucrose”, but welcome further independent research on the subject.[12] Further reviews in the clinical literature have disputed the links between HFCS and obesity,[13] diabetes,[14] and metabolic syndrome,[13] and concluded that HFCS is no different from any other sugar in relationship to these diseases.[dubious – discuss] HFCS has been classified generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration since 1976.[15]

Use as a replacement for sugar

HFCS replaces sugar in various processed foods in the United States.[16][17] The main reasons for this switch are:

  • Per relative sweetness, HFCS 55 is comparable to table sugar (sucrose), a disaccharide of fructose and glucose.[18]
  • High-fructose corn syrup HFCS 90 is sweeter than sucrose; HFCS 42 is less sweet than sucrose.
  • HFCS is cheaper in the United States as a result of a combination of corn subsidies and sugar tariffs and quotas.[19] Since the mid 1990s, the United States federal government has subsidized corn growers by $40 billion.[20][21]
  • HFCS is easier to blend and transport because it is a liquid.[22]

Comparison to other sweeteners

High-fructose corn syrup
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 1,176 kJ (281 kcal)
Carbohydrates 76 g
– Dietary fiber 0 g
Fat 0 g
Protein 0 g
Water 24 g
Riboflavin (vit. B2) 0.019 mg (2%)
Niacin (vit. B3) 0 mg (0%)
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.011 mg (0%)
Vitamin B6 0.024 mg (2%)
Folate (vit. B9) 0 μg (0%)
Vitamin C 0 mg (0%)
Calcium 6 mg (1%)
Iron 0.42 mg (3%)
Magnesium 2 mg (1%)
Phosphorus 4 mg (1%)
Potassium 0 mg (0%)
Sodium 2 mg (0%)
Zinc 0.22 mg (2%)
Shown is for 100 g, roughly 5.25 tbsp. Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults. Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Cane and beet sugar

Cane sugar and beet sugar are both relatively pure sucrose. While glucose and fructose, which are the two components of HFCS, are monosaccharides, sucrose is a disaccharide composed of glucose and fructose linked together with a relatively weak glycosidic bond. The fact that sucrose, glucose and fructose are unique, distinct molecules complicates the comparison between cane sugar, beet sugar and HFCS. A molecule of sucrose (with a chemical formula of C12H22O11) can be broken down into a molecule of glucose (C6H12O6) plus a molecule of fructose (also C6H12O6 — an isomer of glucose) in a weakly acidic environment by a process called inversion.[23] Sucrose is broken down during digestion into a mixture of 50% fructose and 50% glucose through hydrolysis by the enzyme sucrase. People with sucrase deficiency cannot digest (break down) sucrose and thus exhibit sucrose intolerance.[24]

Fructose is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract by a different mechanism than that for glucose. Glucose stimulates insulin release from the isolated pancreas, but fructose does not. Fructose is metabolized primarily in the liver. Once inside the liver cell, fructose can enter the pathways that provide glycerol, the backbone for triacylglycerol. The growing dietary amount of fructose that is derived from sucrose or HFCS has raised questions about how children and adults respond to fructose alone or when it is accompanied by glucose.[25]


Honey is a mixture of different types of sugars, water, and small amounts of other compounds. Honey typically has a fructose/glucose ratio similar to HFCS 55, as well as containing some sucrose and other sugars. Like HFCS, honey contains water and has approximately 3 kcal per gram. Because of its similar sugar profile and lower price, HFCS has been used illegally to “stretch” honey. As a result, checks for adulteration of honey no longer test for higher-than-normal levels of sucrose, which HFCS does not contain, but instead test for small quantities of proteins that can be used to differentiate between HFCS and honey. Consumers should be aware, however, that some honey available in supermarkets contain HFCS or utilized HFCS in its production. Consumer awareness through label-reading is important for those aiming to avoid high-fructose corn syrup. [26]


HFCS was first introduced by Richard O. Marshall and Earl R. Kooi in 1957. They were, however, unsuccessful in making it viable for mass production.[27] The industrial production process and creation was made by Dr. Y. Takasaki at the Agency of Industrial Science and Technology of Ministry of International Trade and Industry of Japan in 1965–1970. Dr. Y. Takasaki is known to many as the creator of HFCS. HFCS was rapidly introduced to many processed foods and soft drinks in the U.S. from about 1975 to 1985.

High-fructose corn syrup is produced by milling corn to produce corn starch, then processing that starch to yield corn syrup, which is almost entirely glucose, and then adding enzymes that change some of the glucose into fructose. The resulting syrup (after enzyme conversion) contains approximately 42% fructose and is HFCS 42. Some of the 42% fructose is then purified to 90% fructose, HFCS 90. To make HFCS 55, the HFCS 90 is mixed with HFCS 42 in the appropriate ratios to form the desired HFCS 55. The enzyme process that changes the 100% glucose corn syrup into HFCS 42 is as follows:

  1. Cornstarch is treated with alpha-amylase to produce shorter chains of sugars called oligosaccharides.
  2. Glucoamylase – which is produced by Aspergillus, species of mold, in a fermentation vat — breaks the sugar chains down even further to yield the simple sugar glucose.
  3. Xylose isomerase (aka glucose isomerase) converts glucose to a mixture of about 42% fructose and 50–52% glucose with some other sugars mixed in.

While inexpensive alpha-amylase and glucoamylase are added directly to the slurry and used only once, the more costly xylose-isomerase is packed into columns and the sugar mixture is then passed over it, allowing it to be used repeatedly until it loses its activity. This 42–43% fructose glucose mixture is then subjected to a liquid chromatography step, where the fructose is enriched to about 90%. The 90% fructose is then back-blended with 42% fructose to achieve a 55% fructose final product. Most manufacturers use carbon adsorption for impurity removal. Numerous filtration, ion-exchange and evaporation steps are also part of the overall process.

The units of measurement for sucrose is degrees Brix (symbol °Bx). Brix is a measurement of the mass ratio of dissolved sucrose to water in a liquid. A 25 °Bx solution has 25 grams of sucrose per 100 grams of solution (25% w/w). Or, to put it another way, there are 25 grams of sucrose and 75 grams of water in the 100 grams of solution. The Brix measurement was introduced by Antoine Brix.

A more universal measurement of sugars, including HFCS, is called dry solids. Dry solids is defined as the mass ratio of dry sugars to the total weight of the sugar solution. Since Brix is based on the refractive index of light against a sucrose molecule it is not accurate when measuring other sugars such as glucose, maltose, and fructose.

When an infrared Brix sensor is used, it measures the vibrational frequency of the sucrose molecules, giving a Brix degrees measurement. This will not be the same measurement as Brix degrees using a density or refractive index measurement, because it will specifically measure dissolved sugar concentration instead of all dissolved solids. When a refractometer is used, it is correct to report the result as “refractometric dried substance” (RDS). One might speak of a liquid as being 20 °Bx RDS. This is a measure of percent by weight of total dried solids and, although not technically the same as Brix degrees determined through an infrared method, renders an accurate measurement of sucrose content, since the majority of dried solids are in fact sucrose.

Recently, an isotopic method for quantifying sweeteners derived from corn and sugar cane was developed which permits measurement of corn syrup- and cane sugar-derived sweeteners in humans, thus allowing dietary assessment of the intake of these substances relative to total intake.[28]

Sweetener consumption patterns


Before the mass production of fructose since 1957[citation needed], human beings had little dietary exposure to fructose. Fructose was limited to only a few items such as honey, dates, raisins, grapes and apples. The staples of most early diets, meats and most vegetables, contain no fructose.[29]

United States

US sweetener consumption, 1966-2009, in dry pounds. It is apparent from this graph that overall sweetener consumption, and in particular glucose-fructose mixtures, has increased since the introduction of HFCS. Thus, the amount of fructose consumed in the United States has increased since the early 1980s. This would be true whether the added sweetener was HFCS, table sugar, or any other glucose-fructose mixture.[30]

A system of sugar tariffs and sugar quotas imposed in 1977 in the United States significantly increased the cost of imported sugar and U.S. producers sought cheaper sources. High-fructose corn syrup, derived from corn, is more economical because the domestic U.S. prices of sugar are twice the global price[31] and the price of corn is kept low through government subsidies paid to growers.[32][33]

HFCS became an attractive substitute, and is preferred over cane sugar among the vast majority of American food and beverage manufacturers. Soft drink makers such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi use sugar in other nations, but switched to HFCS in the U.S. and Canada in 1984.[34] Large corporations, such as Archer Daniels Midland, lobby for the continuation of government corn subsidies.[35]

Other countries, including Mexico typically use sugar in soft drinks. Some Americans seek out Mexican Coca-Cola in ethnic groceries, because they prefer the taste compared to Coke made with HFCS.[36][37] Kosher for Passover Coca-Cola sold in the U.S. around the Jewish holiday also uses sucrose rather than HFCS and is also highly sought after by people who prefer the original taste.[38]

The average American consumed approximately 37.8 lb (17.1 kg) of HFCS in 2008, versus 46.7 lb (21.2 kg) of sucrose.[39] In countries where HFCS is not used or rarely used, sucrose consumption per person may be higher than in the USA; sucrose consumption per person from various locations is shown below (2002):[40]

  • USA: 32.4 kg (71 lb)
  • EU: 40.1 kg (88 lb)
  • Brazil: 59.7 kg (132 lb)
  • Australia: 56.2 kg (124 lb)

Of course, in terms of total sugars consumed, the figures from countries where HFCS is not used should be compared to the sum of the sucrose and HFCS figures from countries where HFCS consumption is significant.

European Union

In the European Union (EU), HFCS, known as isoglucose or glucose-fructose syrup, is subject to a production quota. In 2005, this quota was set at 303,000 tons; in comparison, the EU produced an average of 18.6 million tons of sugar annually between 1999 and 2001.[41] Wide scale replacement of sugar has not occurred in the EU.


In Japan, HFCS consumption accounts for one quarter of total sweetener consumption.[42]

Health effects

Main article: Health effects of high-fructose corn syrup

Health concerns have been raised about high fructose corn syrup, which allege contribution to obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. A peer-reviewed study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition by John S White who is a Consultant in sweeteners, HFCS and sucrose for the Food and Beverage Industry and also has a professional association with the Corn Refiners Association, rejects the HFCS-obesity hypothesis and finds that “[a]lthough examples of pure fructose causing metabolic upset at high concentrations abound, especially when fed as the sole carbohydrate source, there is no evidence that the common fructose-glucose sweeteners do the same.”[13]

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