High fructose corn syrup

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High fructose corn syrup

#1  Postby SpeedOfSound » Oct 24, 2010 2:35 am

HFCS contains man made fructose which causes obesity. It's the cause of the biggest health crisis in the US. At least that's what my friend is telling his 7 year old son who reads labels and won't eat anything with HFCS in it.

What do you think?
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Re: High fructose corn syrup

#2  Postby Mac_Guffin » Oct 24, 2010 3:34 am

I'm curious for reading input on this here.
I keep reading different studies saying different things and I still don't know if it's just another BS attack on something that isn't organic or if there is any truth to it.
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Re: High fructose corn syrup

#3  Postby SpeedOfSound » Oct 24, 2010 3:44 am

Mac_Guffin wrote:I'm curious for reading input on this here.
I keep reading different studies saying different things and I still don't know if it's just another BS attack on something that isn't organic or if there is any truth to it.


The facts seem to be that HFCS is about 50/50 glucose and fructose which is perceived as sweeter than sugar meaning you would ingest less calories. But I am interested if there is anything that I have missed here. I just channel surfed past a law and order SVU show that was villainizing it pretty seriously.

This friend insists that sucrose is all natural and okay. I tried to explain disaccharides to him but it was clear he had his own opinion.
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Re: High fructose corn syrup

#4  Postby Berthold » Oct 24, 2010 8:17 am

It's all a matter of the amount that's ingested.

In a diet that contains lots of components likely to cause obesity, this syrup will contribute to problems, if it is an ingredient in favourite snacks.

There's nothing inherently bad about it. No one has ever ranted against honey, though that's a very potent source of monosaccharides*, too.

*which are instantly available to metabolism, as opposed to, say, starch.
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Re: High fructose corn syrup

#5  Postby SpeedOfSound » Oct 24, 2010 9:01 am

Berthold wrote:It's all a matter of the amount that's ingested.

In a diet that contains lots of components likely to cause obesity, this syrup will contribute to problems, if it is an ingredient in favourite snacks.

There's nothing inherently bad about it. No one has ever ranted against honey, though that's a very potent source of monosaccharides*, too.

*which are instantly available to metabolism, as opposed to, say, starch.


Would the starch in the snacks contribute to the problem too? Say you had some flavored potato chips with about 2% HFCS. The rest being starch.
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Re: High fructose corn syrup

#6  Postby Berthold » Oct 24, 2010 9:31 am

SpeedOfSound wrote:Would the starch in the snacks contribute to the problem too? Say you had some flavored potato chips with about 2% HFCS. The rest being starch.

Yes, of course. And don't forget that these chips contain quite an amount of fat, too. Anything contributes to obesity if you munch it every day all day while watching TV. If you have, on the other hand, chips as a side dish of your meal once a week, they won't hurt you.
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Re: High fructose corn syrup

#7  Postby SpeedOfSound » Oct 24, 2010 9:36 am

Berthold wrote:
SpeedOfSound wrote:Would the starch in the snacks contribute to the problem too? Say you had some flavored potato chips with about 2% HFCS. The rest being starch.

Yes, of course. And don't forget that these chips contain quite an amount of fat, too. Anything contributes to obesity if you munch it every day all day while watching TV. If you have, on the other hand, chips as a side dish of your meal once a week, they won't hurt you.


So my point is that it is very suspicious when someone focuses on one ingredient in a product and simply states how bad this is for you. In general food is bad but it's good too. Depends on what you eat not on how convenient or economical it is for evil big business to make it.

But does anyone know what else is in HFCS?
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Re: High fructose corn syrup

#8  Postby BlackBart » Oct 24, 2010 9:52 am

Obesity is caused by eating too much fat and sugar and not doing enough exercise. You take in more calories than you burn, you become obese. End of. Nothing to do with evil chemicals in your coke or crisps.
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Re: High fructose corn syrup

#9  Postby SpeedOfSound » Oct 24, 2010 9:59 am

BlackBart wrote:Obesity is caused by eating too much fat and sugar and not doing enough exercise. You take in more calories than you burn, you become obese. End of. Nothing to do with evil chemicals in your coke or crisps.


Pretty much what I thought but there seems to be a whole cult growing up around this sort of thing. My first clue was when my friend seemed to thing there were two kinds of fructose. Man-made and natural. The only remotely logical argument he could come up with, after I informed him what utter bullshit that idea was, is that the manufacturing injected certain byproducts not found in nature.

Now this is what I would like know. What and how much. I think they use HCl, but so does my stomach. There is mention of heavy metals I think in some of the slam articles. Anyone?
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Re: High fructose corn syrup

#10  Postby campermon » Oct 24, 2010 10:26 am

SpeedOfSound wrote:
BlackBart wrote:Obesity is caused by eating too much fat and sugar and not doing enough exercise. You take in more calories than you burn, you become obese. End of. Nothing to do with evil chemicals in your coke or crisps.


Pretty much what I thought but there seems to be a whole cult growing up around this sort of thing. My first clue was when my friend seemed to thing there were two kinds of fructose. Man-made and natural. The only remotely logical argument he could come up with, after I informed him what utter bullshit that idea was, is that the manufacturing injected certain byproducts not found in nature.

Now this is what I would like know. What and how much. I think they use HCl, but so does my stomach. There is mention of heavy metals I think in some of the slam articles. Anyone?


According to Wiki;

"High-fructose corn syrup is produced by milling corn to produce corn starch, then processing that starch to yield corn syrup, which is almost entirely glucose, and then adding enzymes that change most of the glucose into fructose. The resulting syrup (after enzyme conversion) contains approximately 42% fructose and is HFCS 42. The 42% fructose is then purified to 90% fructose, HFCS90. To make HFCS 55, the HFCS 90 is mixed with HFCS 42 in the appropriate ratios to form the desired HFCS 55. The enzyme process that changes the 100% glucose corn syrup into HFCS 90 is as follows:

1. Cornstarch is treated with alpha-amylase to produce shorter chains of sugars called oligosaccharides.
2. Glucoamylase - which is produced by Aspergillus, a fungus, in a fermentation vat — breaks the sugar chains down even further to yield the simple sugar glucose.
3. Xylose isomerase (aka glucose isomerase) converts glucose to a mixture of about 42% fructose and 50–52% glucose with some other sugars mixed in.

While inexpensive alpha-amylase and glucoamylase are added directly to the slurry and used only once, the more costly xylose-isomerase is packed into columns and the sugar mixture is then passed over it, allowing it to be used repeatedly until it loses its activity. This 42–43% fructose glucose mixture is then subjected to a liquid chromatography step, where the fructose is enriched to about 90%. The 90% fructose is then back-blended with 42% fructose to achieve a 55% fructose final product. Most manufacturers use carbon absorption for impurity removal. Numerous filtration, ion-exchange and evaporation steps are also part of the overall process."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-fruct ... Production

Sounds like a fairly 'natural' process....
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Re: High fructose corn syrup

#11  Postby BlackBart » Oct 24, 2010 10:26 am

SpeedOfSound wrote:
BlackBart wrote:Obesity is caused by eating too much fat and sugar and not doing enough exercise. You take in more calories than you burn, you become obese. End of. Nothing to do with evil chemicals in your coke or crisps.


Pretty much what I thought but there seems to be a whole cult growing up around this sort of thing. My first clue was when my friend seemed to thing there were two kinds of fructose. Man-made and natural. The only remotely logical argument he could come up with, after I informed him what utter bullshit that idea was, is that the manufacturing injected certain byproducts not found in nature.

Now this is what I would like know. What and how much. I think they use HCl, but so does my stomach. There is mention of heavy metals I think in some of the slam articles. Anyone?


He'll need to define 'not found in nature'. Treefrog venom is found in nature, is he going to feed it to his 7 year old? I don't think so!

If his child eats a balanced diet with sensible portions (With fatty crisps and sugary coke and lurid looking candy coloured with petrochemical by-products as an occasional treat) and gets regular exercise then he can reasonably expect to have a level of health and life expectancy that is the highest humankind has ever known.
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Re: High fructose corn syrup

#12  Postby SpeedOfSound » Oct 24, 2010 10:30 am

BlackBart wrote:
SpeedOfSound wrote:
BlackBart wrote:Obesity is caused by eating too much fat and sugar and not doing enough exercise. You take in more calories than you burn, you become obese. End of. Nothing to do with evil chemicals in your coke or crisps.


Pretty much what I thought but there seems to be a whole cult growing up around this sort of thing. My first clue was when my friend seemed to thing there were two kinds of fructose. Man-made and natural. The only remotely logical argument he could come up with, after I informed him what utter bullshit that idea was, is that the manufacturing injected certain byproducts not found in nature.

Now this is what I would like know. What and how much. I think they use HCl, but so does my stomach. There is mention of heavy metals I think in some of the slam articles. Anyone?


He'll need to define 'not found in nature'. Treefrog venom is found in nature, is he going to feed it to his 7 year old? I don't think so!

If his child eats a balanced diet with sensible portions (With fatty crisps and sugary coke and lurid looking candy coloured with petrochemical by-products as an occasional treat) and gets regular exercise then he can reasonably expect to have a level of health and life expectancy that is the highest humankind has ever known.


How old is Keith Richards?

edit. 66. Holy shit I thought he was in his nineties. :grin:
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Re: High fructose corn syrup

#13  Postby Nam Dernor » Oct 24, 2010 12:48 pm

From what I've read, a large factor is not the substance itself, but the economics of it. It's an industrial product easy to create, transport, store, and use in food production, tasty, and produced in huge quantities (like other industrial food products) from corn, which is itself a well understood, highly industrialized crop. Food manufacturers are set up to use it at low cost, and it's profitable for them to convince you to eat food made from what they are equipped to make cheaply. Food products made this way are naturally advertised intensively to boost sales, and people are not bright about buying and eating this stuff, which provides plenty of calories but little of what else belongs in food.
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Re: High fructose corn syrup

#14  Postby SpeedOfSound » Oct 24, 2010 1:06 pm

Nam Dernor wrote:From what I've read, a large factor is not the substance itself, but the economics of it. It's an industrial product easy to create, transport, store, and use in food production, tasty, and produced in huge quantities (like other industrial food products) from corn, which is itself a well understood, highly industrialized crop. Food manufacturers are set up to use it at low cost, and it's profitable for them to convince you to eat food made from what they are equipped to make cheaply. Food products made this way are naturally advertised intensively to boost sales, and people are not bright about buying and eating this stuff, which provides plenty of calories but little of what else belongs in food.


What belongs in food? It almost sounds like you are making efficiency and economy and advertising into it's own evil. If soda was made in other ways a can of coke would cost about ten bucks.

One ingredient that I really like in my pop is water. It's efficient and tasty and available in huge quantities. But it has none of the ingredients that should be in food. Well. Maybe one.

See what I'm getting at there? There are a great many companies in the US that are struggling to produce organic foods. They are struggling because few want to pay for their products. I look at that little shelf at Cub Foods and I want to fucking throw up on the price tags. Love the food. Hate the prices.
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Re: High fructose corn syrup

#15  Postby SpeedOfSound » Oct 24, 2010 1:06 pm

Probably getting off topic for a chem section so maybe this should be moved? I just don't know where.
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Re: High fructose corn syrup

#16  Postby Elena » Oct 24, 2010 1:53 pm

SpeedOfSound wrote: But does anyone know what else is in HFCS?

HFCS is, as you wrote earlier, an artificial compound fructose and glucose --nothing is added to it. The compound is obtained by isomerization of some the glucose in corn syrup to fructose. The proportion of each monosaccharide may vary:

HFCS-55, consisting of 55% fructose and 42% glucose, is used in many sweetened beverages, whereas HFCS-42 (42% fructose; 53% glucose) is used to sweeten other products (eg, confections).


There was concern a few years ago that HFCS-55 in particular could alter the normal satiety mechanisms and trigger hunger. This would lead to overeating, thus promoting obesity and the metabolic syndrome.

While long-term studies have yet to be performed, a careful evaluation of the available evidence has failed to show that HFCS inhibits satiety, promotes hunger, or acts much differently than sucrose.

Here is a good review (supported by PepsiCo, but citing many independent studies):

High-fructose corn syrup, energy intake, and appetite regulation
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Re: High fructose corn syrup

#17  Postby SpeedOfSound » Oct 24, 2010 2:06 pm

Hey. Thanks.
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Re: High fructose corn syrup

#18  Postby orpheus » Oct 24, 2010 2:21 pm

Nam Dernor wrote:From what I've read, a large factor is not the substance itself, but the economics of it. It's an industrial product easy to create, transport, store, and use in food production, tasty, and produced in huge quantities (like other industrial food products) from corn, which is itself a well understood, highly industrialized crop. Food manufacturers are set up to use it at low cost, and it's profitable for them to convince you to eat food made from what they are equipped to make cheaply.


I guess I don't understand what you mean here. I get the idea that you disapprove of the above, but I'm not sure why.

Food products made this way are naturally advertised intensively to boost sales, and people are not bright about buying and eating this stuff, which provides plenty of calories but little of what else belongs in food.


That being?
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Re: High fructose corn syrup

#19  Postby Tero » Oct 24, 2010 2:22 pm

fructose
Image

sucrose or table sugar
Image

Hey, it is a disaccharide containing fructose! It is dangerous!
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Re: High fructose corn syrup

#20  Postby Nam Dernor » Oct 24, 2010 6:55 pm

Nothing morally or ethically wrong with soda, or HFCS, and possibly nothing chemically (I'm not a biochemist) but it IS used to make food that you don't really need but have learned to like because it's what's offered by the huge food system that we live in. Maybe that doesn't necessarily mean it's optimal for us. Sugar pushes our appetite buttons and we've trained ourselves to like it. If you cut your sugar (and that increasingly means HFCS) intake way back for a few months you will notice that some vegetables and whole grains are remarkably sweet, for example- and you'll be healthier.
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