Posts tagged ‘hfcs’

Dr. Pepper Ten Update: There’s More A-Comin’…

This hot of the presses (courtesy WSJ.com):

After promising early results from Dr Pepper Ten, a low-calorie version of its flagship soda, Dr Pepper Snapple is giving the same treatment to five of its other sodas…. Starting as early as January, the company will start testing 7 Up Ten, Sunkist Ten, A&W Ten and Canada Dry Ten in Columbus, Ohio, Des Moines, Iowa, and central Pennsylvania. It will also test RC Ten, a cola, in Chicago, Evansville, Ind., and Des Moines.

As we chroncled in these pages a few weeks ago, Ten is NOT FOR CHICKS! So what about all these other perfect Tens, I wonder?

The real story isn’t getting diet soda into men so much as getting HFCS into diet soda. Evidently, the company’s proprietary blend of non-nutritive sweetener and HFCS makes the calories go away while keeping the “real soda” flavor. I guess we’ll all be Tens soon…

By the way, if any beverage executives are listening, I’ll tell you what I’d really go for: a low or no calorie drink that wasn’t so sweet! I don’t like the extra sugar of sweet drinks, so I prefer the diet sort (I save my sugar quota for real candy). But why should I have to choose between the sweet-bomb of Diet Snapple Iced Tea and the mouth-puckering virtue of the totally unsweetened stuff? I don’t want sugar, just a little sweetness, just a pinch…

 

December 2, 2011 at 7:37 pm 3 comments

“Corn Sugar” and High Fructose Corn Syrup

On September 14, the Corn Refiners Association petitioned the F.D.A. to allow high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) to be sold as “corn sugar.” Since HFCS has the same amount of fructose as table sugar, the CRA argues that “corn sugar” is a less confusing name. And it probably also hopes that “corn syrup” will avoid some of the bad press that HFCS has been getting. For a cut-to-the-chase analysis of what’s really going on, Marion Nestle at FoodPolitics.com is of course indispensable. Tara Parker-Pope at The New York Times also has written a useful article on the topic.

The emergence of corn syrup as an alternative to sugar, and its uses in the candy industry, provide a quite interesting context for this latest attempt to blur the lines between corn products and more traditional sugar (although scientists and nutritionists insist that the glucose and fructose are exactly the same, and the source really doesn’t matter). But corn is a powerful symbol in American history, and sugar is too. Here’s a round up of relevant previous posts, a little of the larger story that I have uncovered in my Candy Professor research:

September 15, 2010 at 3:49 pm Leave a comment

Sweetose: Better Candy from the Chemistry Lab

sweetose corn syrup

The astro-turf group calling itself The Center for Consumer Freedom has once again taken up the high fructose corn syrup cause. New ads in national papers and TV stations are meant to mock those concerned with possible health effects of this corn syrup derivative, and to reassure the public that HFCS is just another sugar.

All the corn dust kicking around got me interested in the whole history of HFCS. While I learn about that, allow me to share a little something with you this HFCS precursor: Sweetose.

Sweetose was a “high-sugar-content” corn syrup manufactured by the A.E. Staley Manufacturing Company, of Decatur IL. In 1938, Staley patented an enzymatic conversion process that would transform regular corn syrup made up of the single sugar glucose into a sweeter syrup with different chemical properties, made up of glucose and maltose. In addition to industrial applications, Staley marketed Sweetose in consumer formulations as a pancake syrup and baking ingredient, similar to Caro syrup.

The ad above is from 1950, from a candy manufacturer’s trade journal. Sweetose promises to add quality and sales appeal:

Sample candy with and without Sweetose…discover immediately how this enzyme-converted corn syrup increases tenderness and intensifies flavors. And Sweetose prolongs freshness, too!

The Staley patent expired in 1955. This opened up the field for others to experiment with enzyme conversion processes, leading to the development of the process that would produce high fructose corn syrup in 1957. But it was not until 1970 that Japanese scientist Dr. Y. Takasaki perfected an industrial process for HFCS production. HFCS was quickly adopted by the food industry, and here we are today.

Sources: Staley advertisement, Confectioners Journal 1950; High-fructose corn syrup, Wikipedia; A History of Lactic Acid Making: A chapter in the history of biotechnology, By Harm Benninga (1990), p 414, Google Books.

Related Posts:

  • Glue-cose
  • Beer and Candy III
  • October 5, 2009 at 7:49 am 6 comments


    Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure

    Welcome to Candy Professor

    Candy in American Culture What is it about candy? Here you'll find the forgotten, the strange, the curious, the surprising. Our candy story, one post at a time.

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