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What would you suggest as a new name for high-fructose corn syrup?

The companies that make high fructose-corn syrup want rename it “corn sugar,” because it’s developing a negative image with consumers.

Images-1 I liked The New York Times article “Help Rename High-Fructose Corn Syrup.”

The Times asked nutrition advocates what they think the new name should be:
  • Corn Glucose and Fructose Syrup: Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition at New York University and author of “Food Politics,” says it’s not corn sugar:
The Food and Drug Administration already has a definition for that, and it’s just glucose (dextrose). High-fructose corn syrup does come from corn. It’s made by extracting the starch from corn, treating it with enzymes to make glucose, and treating the glucose with other enzymes to turn about half of it into fructose. And it comes as a syrup, not crystals. So from a chemical standpoint, ‘corn glucose and fructose syrup’ is exactly what it is. I also like it because it conveys the idea that this is a processed sweetener.
  • Enzymatically Altered Corn Glucose: Michael Pollan, author of “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” which takes a critical look at the food business, says EACG is a more accurate description:
The name also connotes a highly-processed, novel food ingredient, which has always been the best reason to avoid it: not because it is necessarily worse for you than sugar, but because it is a marker for a whole class of processed foods we’d do well to keep out of our diet.
  • Glucose-Fructose Corn Sweetener: Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, says the name is similar to the term “glucose-fructose syrup,” which is used in Canada:
High-fructose corn syrup is no higher in fructose than regular sugar, and ‘corn sugar’ sounds like it is sugar that comes directly out of corn. Both terms are misleading. ‘Glucose-fructose corn sweetener,’ a term used abroad, may not be pretty, but it’s more accurate.
  • Corn Sugar: Barry Popkin, director of the University of North Carolina Interdisciplinary Obesity Center and an advocate for taxes on sugared beverages, says the simple name works:
Frankly I feel that corn sugar is perfect. A large amount of research on this topic of fructose versus HFCS has shown that fructose in any sugar – be it cane sugar, beet sugar, or sugar from corn or many other sources – has the same adverse additional effects on health. But the major negative is any sugar consumed in a beverage. For this reason corn sugar, as well as ‘natural sugar,’ which is either from sugar cane, beet sugars or fruit juice concentrates, all have fructose and all have the same adverse effects on health. Corn sugar clearly identifies correctly sugar from corn as not having more fructose than any other sugar source.
  • High-Fructose Corn Syrup: Dr. Andrew Weil, best-selling author and alternative medicine pioneer, says no name change is needed. He says:
I don’t like ‘corn sugar’ – too vague – and traditionally it meant solid dextrose (glucose) made by hydrolyzing cornstarch. I’m in favor of sticking with ‘high-fructose corn syrup.’ That’s what it is, and I don’t agree that it’s innocuous. It’s a cheap sweetener, a marker of low-quality industrial food and a major promoter of insulin resistance and obesity in our population.
I don’t think high-fructose corn syrup should be renamed corn sugar. It’s manufactured through a highly complex process using two enzymes, one derived from a bacterium and another from a fungus.

Of the names described above, I like enzymatically altered corn glucose the best. It refutes the Corn Refiners Association contention that high-fructose corn syrup is a “natural” product.

But, leaving the name high-fructose corn syrup also has merits. Consumers are familiar with it and can continue to avoid the highly manufactured sweetener.

The Times article has a poll that let’s you vote on which of the above names you like the best. Leaving the name the same is winning so far.

Copyright 2010, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist


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I'm thinking they could call it: Diabetical

Or how about: PoisonSugar?

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