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Thread: HFCS: You "Gotta" Love It

  1. #1
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    HFCS: You "Gotta" Love It

    Here's part of an article compiling the effects of High Fructose Corn Syrup. It's from Menstuff®. This crap's in everything; it's in more sweetened products than is any form of corn or beet sugar and it's made out of corn starch using a complicated process involving three enzymes and using genetically modified corn to start with. As the article mentions, it has a gross negative impact on heart, liver and many of the body's processes.

    The process for making the sweetener high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) out of corn was developed in the 1970s. Use of HFCS grew rapidly, from less than three million short tons in 1980 to almost 8 million short tons in 1995. During the late 1990s, use of sugar actually declined as it was eclipsed by HFCS. Today Americans consume more HFCS than sugar.

    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.

    First, cornstarch is treated with alpha-amylase to produce shorter chains of sugars called polysaccharides. Alpha-amylase is industrially produced by a bacterium, usually Bacillus sp. It is purified and then shipped to HFCS manufacturers.

    Next, an enzyme called glucoamylase breaks the sugar chains down even further to yield the simple sugar glucose. Unlike alpha-amylase, glucoamylase is produced by Aspergillus, a fungus, in a fermentation vat where one would likely see little balls of Aspergillus floating on the top.

    The third enzyme, glucose-isomerase, is very expensive. It converts glucose to a mixture of about 42 percent fructose and 50-52 percent glucose with some other sugars mixed in. While alpha-amylase and glucoamylase are added directly to the slurry, pricey glucose-isomerase is packed into columns and the sugar mixture is then passed over it. Inexpensive alpha-amylase and glucoamylase are used only once, glucose-isomerase is reused until it loses most of its activity.

    There are two more steps involved. First is a liquid chromatography step that takes the mixture to 90 percent fructose. Finally, this is back-blended with the original mixture to yield a final concentration of about 55 percent fructose—what the industry calls high fructose corn syrup.

    HFCS has the exact same sweetness and taste as an equal amount of sucrose from cane or beet sugar but it is obviously much more complicated to make, involving vats of murky fermenting liquid, fungus and chemical tweaking, all of which take place in one of 16 chemical plants located in the Corn Belt. Yet in spite of all the special enzymes required, HFCS is actually cheaper than sugar. It is also very easy to transport—it's just piped into tanker trucks. This translates into lower costs and higher profits for food producers.
    The development of the HFCS process came at an opportune time for corn growers. Refinements of the partial hydrogenation process had made it possible to get better shortenings and margarines out of soybeans than corn. HFCS took up the slack as demand for corn oil margarine declined. Lysine, an amino acid, can be produced from the corn residue after the glucose is removed. This is the modus operandi of the food conglomerates—break down commodities into their basic components and then put them back together again as processed food.

    Today HFCS is used to sweeten jams, condiments like ketchup, and soft drinks. It is also a favorite ingredient in many so-called health foods. Four companies control 85 percent of the $2.6 billion business—Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill, Staley Manufacturing Co. and CPC International. In the mid-1990s, ADM was the object of an FBI probe into price fixing of three products—HFCS, citric acid and lysine—and consumers got a glimpse of the murky world of corporate manipulation.

    There's a couple of other murky things that consumers should know about HFCS. According to a food technology expert, two of the enzymes used, alpha-amylase and glucose-isomerase, are genetically modified to make them more stable. Enzymes are actually very large proteins and through genetic modification specific amino acids in the enzymes are changed or replaced so the enzyme's "backbone" won't break down or unfold. This allows the industry to get the enzymes to higher temperatures before they become unstable.

    Consumers trying to avoid genetically modified foods should avoid HFCS. It is almost certainly made from genetically modified corn and then it is processed with genetically modified enzymes. I've seen some estimates claiming that virtually everything—almost 80 percent—of what we eat today has been genetically modified at some point. Since the use of HFCS is so prevalent in processed foods, those figures may be right.

    But there's another reason to avoid HFCS. Consumers may think that because it contains fructose—which they associate with fruit, which is a natural food—that it is healthier than sugar. A team of investigators at the USDA, led by Dr. Meira Field, has discovered that this just ain't so.

    Sucrose is composed of glucose and fructose. When sugar is given to rats in high amounts, the rats develop multiple health problems, especially when the rats were deficient in certain nutrients, such as copper. The researchers wanted to know whether it was the fructose or the glucose moiety that was causing the problems. So they repeated their studies with two groups of rats, one given high amounts of glucose and one given high amounts of fructose. The glucose group was unaffected but the fructose group had disastrous results. The male rats did not reach adulthood. They had anemia, high cholesterol and heart hypertrophy—that means that their hearts enlarged until they exploded. They also had delayed testicular development. Dr. Field explains that fructose in combination with copper deficiency in the growing animal interferes with collagen production. (Copper deficiency, by the way, is widespread in America.) In a nutshell, the little bodies of the rats just fell apart. The females were not so affected, but they were unable to produce live young.

    "The medical profession thinks fructose is better for diabetics than sugar," says Dr. Field, "but every cell in the body can metabolize glucose. However, all fructose must be metabolized in the liver. The livers of the rats on the high fructose diet looked like the livers of alcoholics, plugged with fat and cirrhotic."
    http://menstuff.org/issues/byissue/h...ose.html#murky

    I was just munching a Vlasic Bread 'N' Butter pickle and read the ingredients panel. There goes all Vlasic sweetened product off my shopping list and out of my life.
    "The world will not perish for want of wonders but for want of wonder."
    J.B.S.Haldane

  2. #2
    Excellent post.

    I highly recommend Michael Pollan's "Omnivore's Dilemma" -
    I think he sheds light on so many problems that stem from our way of growing food, consuming, etc. -

    e.g. - Mexicans used to refer to themselves as the "corn people" because corn was so integral to their way of life - according to Pollan, based on consumption - we have surpassed the Mexicans - corn is in 80% of what we eat by way of HFCS, fillers, etc.
    A fast food "chicken" nugget - has more corn then chicken, and of course, the chicken was grown with corn.
    Add to that the oil usage involved in the production of corn and you might say that we are the "oil" people.



    http://www.michaelpollan.com/omnivore.php

  3. #3
    Senior Member Mona~on~wheels's Avatar
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    Great post Juke spin! There's so much hidden junk in our food it makes you scared to eat.
    That's why I mainly eat raw!
    My daughters live off fast food & junk & doesn't even want to hear what's in it.

    garvey thanks, sounds like a great book. I'm gonna pick it up this week when I shop.

  4. #4
    This is what ticks me off. Stuff I could eat when I was a kid is now all buggered up by the companies that make them. I have a very limited breakfast diet to choose from, because I refuse to start the day with this crap.

    I have seen a few documentaries/commentaries in which HFCS was equated with heroin and worse. IMO, it is far worse. With all the neat diseases and issues with health running around, I simply do not see it all as "Mother Nature retaliating." In the USA, the government is supposed to be there as a direct reflection of the people it governs, but with the ability to oversee as a whole without bias. I truly wish someone could explain to me how the ill effects of HFCS are so outdone by the good so as to allow anyone in their right mind to allow it as a product. IMO, it is like including a vial of crack or a bit of meth with every HFCS based product being sold. Take your pick of which drug. Either way, you are hooked.

    To make matters worse, in the material I have seen/read, HFCS and other additives being used today have an additional effect; the brain simply does not recognize that you have eaten enough. The little switches that are *normally* flicked when we have had a proper amount of nutrition/food do not get flicked. Thus, you still have this feeling of needing and wanting more food. The type of food you desire is also affected by it, as it produces an addiction not dissimilar to that caused by addictive drugs. Thus, IMO, it is as bad as any hardcore narcotic.. a nice man made opiate for kids and adults alike. Saddest part is that I wil likely not see it outlawed in my lifetime.

    Combine this with biofuels being pushed, and do a little research. Just when you think the actual farmers are benefiting and the ecosystem is being considered, you discover differently. The ecological impact were corn to become such an incredibly, widely grown crop? Worse than if we all started to drive twice as much.. and then some...
    nikki
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Mona~on~wheels's Avatar
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    This Site says it's grrrrr8888888!

    High Fructose Corn Syrup Quick Facts

    Research confirms that high fructose corn syrup is safe and no different from other common sweeteners like table sugar and honey. All three sweeteners contain nearly the same one-to-one ratio of two sugars- fructose and glucose.
    High fructose corn syrup has the same number of calories as table sugar and is equal in sweetness. It contains no artificial or synthetic ingredients and is a natural sweetener.
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted high fructose corn syrup "Generally Recognized as Safe" status for use in food, and reaffirmed that ruling in 1996 after thorough review.
    High fructose corn syrup offers numerous benefits. It keeps food fresh, enhances fruit and spice flavors, retains moisture in bran cereals, helps keep breakfast and energy bars moist, enables baked goods to brown better and keeps ingredients evenly dispersed in condiments.


    http://www.hfcsfacts.com/

  6. #6
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    Mona, you were so cautious and skeptical about stevia use in the What harm does drinking tea all day cause? thread but are jazzed up to eat HFCS because of this site's "facts"? Or you just being impulsive?
    "The world will not perish for want of wonders but for want of wonder."
    J.B.S.Haldane

  7. #7
    Senior Member Mona~on~wheels's Avatar
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    Heck no, no, no! I was being facetious!
    I wouldn't touch it with a 10 ft pole.
    Telling how they fool you.

  8. #8
    Whois on the owners of that HFCSfacts.com site:
    Administrative Contact , Technical Contact :
    Corn Refiners Association
    smcnamara@corn.org
    1701 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
    Suite 950
    Washington, DC 20006
    US
    Phone: 202-331-1634

    Record expires on 02-Oct-2016
    Record created on 25-Sep-2007
    Database last updated on 25-Sep-2007

    Notice where they are based. The pharmers and psfarmers (pseudo-farmers) are tops on my list of things I would love to see completely renovated. It is simply obscene.

    The wiki for HFCS is actually interesting, as more than one wiki has been modified with inaccuracies or outright lies, or simply reduced in size to disclude facts that otherwise paint something in a bad way.
    This article provides a step into the ecological side I spoke of. How blind the typical person is..let alone the typical American.. is astounding. Do not even get me started on the evils of recycling (except aluminum, of course )...
    nikki
    T6 complete since Oct, 2001
    TiLite ZRa, Spinergy LX 24", Shox Firm tires, 3" volcanic glare rollerblade wheels for casters

  9. #9
    The greater the distance from vines and plants, the worse it is to eat.

    Also, the more packaging with any food product, the higher the likely hood it's just a bad food choice.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mona~on~wheels
    Let's take a look at the three "facts" recommending HFCS.

    1.
    High fructose corn syrup has the same number of calories as table sugar and is equal in sweetness. It contains no artificial or synthetic ingredients and is a natural sweetener.
    How can it be "natural" when the corn they start with is a GMO and three enzymes are used to turn the GMO cornstarch into a perverted sweetener that sickens rats used in controlled studies? I call BS.

    2.
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted high fructose corn syrup "Generally Recognized as Safe" status for use in food, and reaffirmed that ruling in 1996 after thorough review.
    That would be the same Food and Drug Administration that approved the use of Posilac by Monsanto in 1994 in spite of the fact that evidence provided by Monsanto was sketchy and both independent studies and those done by the European Union scientific commission found that:

    ...the use of rBST (Posilac) substantially increased health problems with cows, including foot problems, mastitis and injection site reactions, impinged on the welfare of the animals and caused reproductive disorders. The report concluded that on the basis of the health and welfare of the animals, rBST should not be used.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bovine_...tropin#Posilac

    Sadly and infuriatingly, the FDA has become a running dog* to the corporate entities that have come to be the dominant institutions of our time. All we need do to understand what happened here is to 'follow the money'.

    3.
    High fructose corn syrup offers numerous benefits. It keeps food fresh, enhances fruit and spice flavors, retains moisture in bran cereals, helps keep breakfast and energy bars moist, enables baked goods to brown better and keeps ingredients evenly dispersed in condiments.
    This one is FTS (funnier than shxt). They're telling us that this dangerous, unnatural crap does some of the same things that any natural sweetener - beet & cane sugar, honey, fructose, etc. - does. So I guess it's really a great product and we should stop fussing and embrace it fully and eat gobs of it at every opportunity. Yeah...-...right!

    *
    running dog. A servile follower or lackey.
    [Translation of Chinese (Mandarin) zu gu : zu, running + gu, dog.]
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/running+dog
    "The world will not perish for want of wonders but for want of wonder."
    J.B.S.Haldane

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