For decades, polymeric corn syrup has been used as a sweetener in processed foods.
Is said to have sugar fructose High, this type of syrup has been criticized for being harmful to health. Many people believe that it is worse than other sweeteners with sugar.
But is this high-molecular corn syrup really comparable to regular sugar or worse?
Let's take a look.
What is high molecular weight corn syrup?
High molecular weight corn syrup (HFCS) is a sweetener made from corn starch.
It is used as a sweetener in processed foods and beverages, mainly in the United States.
Similar to the common sugar (sucrose), it is also composed of both fructose and glucose.
This type of syrup started popular as a sweetener in the late 1970s when the price of ordinary sugar increased, while the price of corn was low due to government subsidies.
However, the proportion of polymers using corn syrup has started to decline slightly because artificial sweeteners are becoming more and more popular.
The chart below shows the trend of using sweeteners in the US, from 1966-2009 :
The green line represents normal sugar consumption, while the red line indicates the consumption of high molecular weight corn syrup, which increased sharply between 1975 and 1985.
Conclude: High molecular corn syrup is a sugar sweetener, used in processed foods and soft drinks in the United States. Like regular sugar, it also contains simple sugars including glucose and fructose.
How is polymeric corn syrup produced?
Macromolecular corn syrup is made from corn (corn), regular type .
The corn is first crushed After that, corn starch is further processed to produce .
Corn syrup contains most glucose. To make it sweeter and taste like regular sugar (sucrose), a little glucose in it is turned into fructose using enzymes.
High-molecular corn syrup also has different types with different fructose ratios. For example, the most concentrated form contains 90% fructose, called HFCS 90.
The most commonly used type is HFCS 55 (55% fructose, 42% glucose).
HFCS 55 is very similar to sucrose (regular sugar), with 50% fructose and 50% glucose.
Conclude: High molecular corn syrup is taken from corn (corn) and then further processed to produce syrup. The most common type is very similar to regular sugar.
High molecular corn syrup compared with ordinary sugar
There are only a few small differences between the most common high-molecular corn syrup (HFCS 55) and regular sugar.
First, the high-molecular corn syrup is liquid, contains 24% water, while the sugar is dry and granular.
In chemical structure, fructose and glucose in high-molecular corn syrup are not interlinked like in sugar (sucrose). Instead, they "float" separately next to each other.
However, these differences do not affect the nutritional value or health properties at all.
In the digestive system, sugar is broken down into fructose and glucose, so corn syrup and sugar have the end exactly alike .
If you compare the details of HFCS 55, there is a slightly higher amount of fructose than normal sugar. This difference is very small and is not particularly relevant to aspects of health.
Of course, if we compare normal sugar with HFCS 90 (90% fructose), normal sugar is expected to be higher, because consumption of large amounts of fructose will be very harmful.
However, HFCS 90 is rarely used, and is usually used only a little because it has an excessively sweet taste .
Conclude: Corn polysaccharides and sugar are almost identical. The main difference is in the sugar, fructose and glucose molecules linked together.
Comparative studies of sugar and high molecular corn syrup
The main reason for unhealthy sugars is because they contain large amounts of fructose.
The liver is the only organ that can metabolize fructose in significant amounts. When the liver is overloaded, it converts fructose in fat .
Some of these fats will go into the liver, contributing to fatty liver disease. High fructose use also has an effect on insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, obesity and type 2 diabetes and many other diseases .
The effects of excessive use of fructose have exceeded the scope of this article, but you can Read more here .
The high molecular weight and conventional corn syrup has a similar mixture of fructose and glucose (ratio about 50:50), so they are expected to have the same health benefits as most.
Surely this has been confirmed many times.
The study showed no difference when comparing high molecular and conventional corn syrup with equal doses .
There was also no difference in satiety or insulin response when taking the same dose, level leptin and the effects on body weight are not different .
Hence according to the best available evidence, sugar and corn syrup are identical.
Conclude: Many studies have shown that sugar and corn syrup are polymers identical in their benefits to health and metabolism. Both cause serious harm if used excessively.
Additive sugar is bad, but fruit is not
The important thing to remember is that "fructose is a bad thing" does not apply to fruit.
Fruits are pure foods, rich in fiber, nutrients and antioxidants. It is difficult to make fructose levels excessive if only absorbed from the fruit.
This only applies to sugars Additives when used in large quantities, in a quantitative context calories high in the Western diet.
The most common type of high-molecular corn syrup (HFCS 55) is almost identical to conventional sugar.
There is currently no evidence to show which type is worse.
In other words, both bad same.