High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is any of a group of corn syrups which
have undergone enzymatic processing in order to increase their fructose
content and are then mixed with pure corn syrup (100% glucose) to reach
their final form.
typical types of HFCS are: HFCS 90 (used almost exclusively in the
production of HFCS 55) which is approximately 90% fructose and 10%
glucose; HFCS 55 (most commonly used in soft drinks) which is
approximately 55% fructose and 45% glucose; and HFCS 42 (used in a
variety of other foods, including baked goods) which is approximately
42% fructose and 58% glucose.
is generally made from transgenic (genetically modified) corn.
High-fructose corn syrup is produced by milling corn to produce corn
starch, then processing that corn starch to yield corn syrup which is
almost entirely glucose, and then adding enzymes which change the
glucose into fructose. The resulting syrup (after enzyme conversion)
contains approximately 90% fructose and is HFCS 90.
High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is produced by processing corn starch to
yield glucose, and then processing the glucose to produce a high
percentage of fructose. It all sounds rather simple--white cornstarch is
turned into crystal clear syrup. However, the process is actually very
complicated. Three different enzymes are needed to break down
cornstarch, which is composed of chains of glucose molecules of almost
infinite length, into the simple sugars glucose and fructose.
has begun to replace sugar in various processed foods in the USA and
main reasons for this switch are: HFCS is somewhat cheaper due to the
relative abundance of corn and the relative lack of sugar beets, as well
as farm subsidies and sugar import tariffs in the United States. HFCS is
easier to blend and transport because it is a liquid. HFCS usage leads
to products with much longer shelf life.
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