Answering Consumer Questions

Answering Your Customers' Questions: Email Templates

Please feel free to use these email templates when crafting your email responses to consumer questions. You can also find additional information in our Consumer FAQs. Please contact us for information on other questions you may receive.

Template One: What is High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)?

Thank you for contacting us regarding our products and the use of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). We take the safety of our products very seriously, and we appreciate your inquiry.

High fructose corn syrup got its name from the fact that it is high in fructose relative to corn syrup. Many people are surprised to hear that high fructose corn syrup is almost identical to table sugar and honey in composition. It is composed of virtually the same amounts of the simple sugars—glucose and fructose.1

High fructose corn syrup plays a key role in the natural integrity of food and beverage products that often has little to do with sweetness.

According to the International Food Information Council, some of the functions of HFCS include:

  • Enhances many fruit, citrus and spice flavors in beverages, bakery fillings, and dairy products.
  • Preserves and protects food by reducing water activity in products such as jams and jellies.
  • Preserves texture of canned fruits and reduces freezer burn in frozen fruits.
  • Provides soft, moist texture allowing production of chewy cookies, snack bars, and other baked goods.
  • Provides body and texture in beverages.
  • Imparts browning and flavor to baked goods, including breads, cakes, cookies, and breakfast cereals.2

Again, thank you for contacting us. If you have any additional questions about HFCS, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Sincerely,

<Name>, <Title>
<Company>

1. White JS. 2008. Straight talk about high-fructose corn syrup: what it is and what it ain't. Am J Clin Nutr 88(6):1716S-1721S. http://www.ajcn.org/content/88/6/1716S.full
2. International Food Information Council, Fast Facts about High-Fructose Corn Syrup, April 19, 2011. http://www.foodinsight.org/Resources/Detail.aspx?topic=Fast_Facts_about_High_Fructose_Corn_Syrup

Template Two: Is High Fructose Corn Syrup Safe and Natural?

Thank you for contacting us regarding our products and the use of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). We take the safety of our products very seriously, and we appreciate your inquiry. HFCS is a safe and natural ingredient.

The safety of high fructose corn syrup is based on science and expert review accumulated over the past 40 years. In 1983, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) listed high fructose corn syrup as “Generally Recognized as Safe” (known as GRAS status) for use in food and reaffirmed that ruling in 1996. GRAS recognition by the FDA is important because it recognizes a long history of safe use as well as adequate scientific studies proving an ingredient’s safety. GRAS status is maintained indefinitely, unless the FDA has a new reason to question an ingredient’s safety, in which case it will then look into maintaining or revoking the GRAS status.1

High fructose corn syrup is made from corn—a natural grain product. High fructose corn syrup contains no artificial or synthetic ingredients or color additives and meets the FDA requirements for use of the term “natural.”2

Again, thank you for contacting us. If you have any additional questions about HFCS, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Sincerely,

<Name>, <Title>
<Company>

1. 61 Fed. Reg. 43447 (August 23, 1996), 21 C.F.R. 184.1866. Direct Food Substances Affirmed as Generally Recognized as Safe; High Fructose Corn Syrup - Final Rule.
2. 21 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) § 101.22. http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&rgn=div8&view=text&node=21:2.0.1.1.2.2.1.1&idno=21

Template Three: Does High Fructose Corn Syrup Cause Weight Gain?

Thank you for contacting us regarding our products and the use of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). We take the safety of our products very seriously, and we appreciate your inquiry.

There is no scientific evidence that suggests high fructose corn syrup is uniquely responsible for people becoming obese. The American Medical Association stated in a press release that, "After studying current research, the American Medical Association concluded that high fructose corn syrup does not appear to contribute more to obesity than other caloric sweeteners…"1 The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) similarly noted, "No persuasive evidence supports the claim that high fructose corn syrup is a unique contributor to obesity."2

Research does show, however, that obesity results from an imbalance of calories consumed and calories burned. Research also does not directly connect obesity to one specific food or ingredient.3

HFCS has the same number of calories as sugar—both contribute 4 calories per gram—and as with other caloric sweeteners, the key to consuming foods with HFCS is moderation.

Again, thank you for contacting us. If you have any additional questions about HFCS, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Sincerely,

<Name>, <Title>
<Company>

1. American Medical Association Press Release, June 17, 2008. http://www.sweetsurprise.com/sites/default/files/AMARelease6-17-08.pdf
2. American Dietetic Association, Hot Topics Paper on HFCS, December 2008. http://sweetsurprise.com/sites/default/files/ADAHotTopicHFCS.pdf
3. Sun SZ, Empie MW. 2007. Lack of findings for the association between obesity risk and usual sugar-sweetened beverage consumption in adults - A primary analysis of databases of CSFII-1989-1991, CSFII-1994-1998, NHANES III, and combined NHANES 1999-2002. Food Chem Toxicol 45(8):1523-1536.

Template Four: Aren’t Most People Avoiding High Fructose Corn Syrup?

Thank you for contacting us regarding our products and the use of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Your concerns are important to us, and we’re happy to answer your questions.

You may have heard on the news or on social media that many people are avoiding HFCS. The truth is that although consumers are becoming more mindful of their health, they continue to buy products made with high fructose corn syrup at the same rate.1 This reason may be caused in part by consumers realizing the relative importance of moderation over avoiding any particular ingredient. In fact, a recent study shows that even the most “health conscious” consumers are nearly five times more concerned about total sugars than they are about HFCS.2

Again, thank you for contacting us. If you have any additional questions about HFCS, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Sincerely,

<Name>, <Title>
<Company>

1. The Sweetener360 is a custom research study commissioned by the Corn Refiners Association and completed in part by Nielsen and Mintel Consulting, 2014
2. Ibid

Template Five: Why is High Fructose Corn Syrup in So Many Products, Even Ones That Aren’t Sweet?

Thank you for contacting us regarding our products and the use of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Your concerns are important to us, and we’re happy to answer your questions.

Many consumers are surprised by the presence of HFCS in food and beverage products that don’t taste sweet. The truth is that HFCS plays a key role in the texture, consistency and stability of many products.1

It is especially helpful in the formulation of baked goods such as cereals, breads and cookies. As a form of invert or reducing sugar, fructose combines with protein in the presence of heat to create a superior browning flavor.2 Another advantage when making bread is that the sugars in HFCS are more easily fermented by yeast during the leavening process, which results in a more economical loaf than breads made with table sugar.3 Additionally, using HFCS instead of granular sugar helps lock in moisture, giving baked goods a longer shelf life and creating a desirable soft texture in cookies and snack bars.4

Again, thank you for contacting us. If you have any additional questions about HFCS, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Sincerely,

<Name>, <Title>
<Company>

1. Ruth Litchfield, Ph.D., R.D., L.D., “High Fructose Corn Syrup – How sweet it is,” http://www.extension.iastate.edu/Publications/PM2061.pdf
2. Ibid
3. Ibid
4. Ibid

Template Six: Is High Fructose Corn Syrup Genetically Modified?

Thank you for contacting us regarding our products and the use of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Your concerns are important to us, and we’re happy to answer your questions.

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) itself is not genetically modified, though it can be made from GMO corn. However, research demonstrates that high fructose corn syrup made from GMO corn is exactly the same as high fructose corn syrup made from conventional corn1. The genetically modified DNA or protein is degraded during the process that breaks down corn into HFCS, rendering the genetically modified DNA or protein undetectable.2

In addition, many prestigious scientific organizations around the world, including the National Academy of Sciences and the World Health Organization, agree that the use of genetically modified corn in our food supply is safe for people and the environment.3 GMOs are an important tool that enable farmers to use fewer chemicals and produce more food on less land, which is vital to sustainably feeding a growing global population.4

It is important to note that table sugar made from beets can also be manufactured using GMO crops. In fact, the USDA estimates that adoption of GMO sugar-beet varieties exceeded 95 percent of U.S. sugar-beet production in 2010.5

Again, thank you for contacting us. If you have any additional questions about HFCS, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Sincerely,

<Name>, <Title>
<Company>

1. Elaine Watson, “CSPI: There are legitimate concerns about GMOs, but not around food safety, and labeling would be misleading,” FoodNavigator-USA, June 3, 2013, http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/People/CSPI-There-are-legitimate-concerns-about-GMOs-but-not-around-food-safety-and-labeling-would-be-misleading
2. Margaret C. Gawienowski, Steven R. Eckhoff, Ping Yang, P. John Rayapati, Thomas Binder and Donald P. Briskin, 1999, “Fate of Maize DNA During Steeping, Wet-Milling, and Processing,” Cereal Chemistry Journal 76(3):371, http://cerealchemistry.aaccnet.org/doi/abs/10.1094/CCHEM.1999.76.3.371
3. Knigel Holmes, “Richard Green on the Scientific Consensus and GMOs,” Skepti-Forum, March 27, 2014, http://www.skeptiforum.org/richard-green-on-the-scientific-consensus-and-gmos/
4. Mary Boote, Rosalie Ellasus, Rajesh Kumar, Eric Sachs Ph.D., Andy Hedgecock, “Who will benefit from your genetically modified crops? What does your company hope to achieve with genetic modification?” GMOAnswers, August 22, 2013
5. USDA “Fact Sheet,” February 2011, http://1.usa.gov/kBkNMt


Recommended Resources

Newsletter Signup

Stay up on the latest sweetener developments with our free monthly newsletter. To sign up, fill out the information below. All fields required.

Sign up

Thank You

Thank you for your interest in learning more about high fructose corn syrup. You will receive email updates on news and information about this safe, versatile sweetener made from corn.

MINTEL STUDY:
FEWER THAN 3% OF SHOPPERS SPECIFICALLY AVOID HFCS IN 12 HIGH-VOLUME F&B CATEGORIES

Download Infographic

Mintel Study:
Examines Consumer Concern Across 12 Top F&B Categories

Download PDF

MINTEL STUDY:
CONSUMERS ARE CHOOSING F&B BRANDS BASED ON TOTAL SUGARS

Download Infographic

MINTEL STUDY:
ACROSS BRANDS, CONSUMERS AVOID TOTAL SUGARS MORE THAN SPECIFIC TYPES

Download Fact Sheets

MINTEL STUDY:
More Grocery Shoppers Concerned About Added Sugar Than HFCS

Download Fact Sheet

Schedule your free GenerationWhy presentation today.

GenerationWhy is an unprecedented consumer research study that analyzes millennials and their attitudes around food and beverage ingredients. GenerationWhy is a custom study commissioned by the Corn Refiners Association. Respondents for the quantitative survey phase of the study were provided by Ipsos. Millennial participants in the qualitative phase were sourced through BuzzFeed.

WHAT’S THE RIGHT MIX FOR REACHING MILLENNIALS?

Get answers with a free GenerationWhy presentation. Schedule yours by filling out the form below.

All fields required.

Schedule Now

Thank You

Thank you for your interest. We will be in touch with you shortly.

Close form

Welcome

When it comes to sweeteners, making the right choice is critical to your brand and your bottom line.

At Corn Naturally, we'll help you make informed decisions with the latest facts on high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) from leading independent experts, including Mintel, Nielsen, NPD and top members and organizations of the scientific community. Come here for the tools and resources you need to make sound sweetener decisions.

How can Corn Naturally help me?

You may have specific questions and concerns related to your industry. Here's how Corn Naturally can help you find answers.

  • Food & Beverage Manufacturers

    Are you considering a change in sweeteners used in your products? Before you act, get the facts. Find out what consumers really think about HFCS, understand the true cost of reformulation and learn the latest on sweetener science at Corn Naturally.

    For answers on the concerns facing your industry, go to the Food and Beverage Manufacturers page.

  • Grocery Retailers

    Wondering how the sweetener debate fits into your retail strategy? At Corn Naturally, you can see what independent, expert research and real-world data reveal about true consumer attitudes toward HFCS and actual purchasing behavior.

    For answers on the concerns facing your industry, go to the Grocery Retailers page.

  • Chain Restaurants

    Will adding HFCS-free products to the menu increase sales? Find out what consumers really think of HFCS and how reformulating can impact your operating costs at Corn Naturally.

    For answers on the concerns facing your industry, go to the Chain Restaurants page.