Is HFCS Natural? Yes, Under FDA’s Longstanding Policy.
High fructose corn syrup meets the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) longstanding policy for use of the term “natural.”1 The FDA’s longstanding policy on use of the term “natural” means that “nothing artificial (including artificial flavors) or synthetic (including all color additives regardless of source) has been included in or has been added to a food that would not normally be expected to be in the food.”
HFCS is made from corn, a natural grain product, and contains nothing artificial or synthetic.
HFCS and Sugar: They're Both Processed Foods
It is a popular misconception that high fructose corn syrup is “processed" while other sweeteners, such as sugar, fruit juice concentrate or agave nectar, are not. The truth is that HFCS is refined using some production methods similar to those used to produce other sugars.
How HFCS is made
White JS. 1992. Fructose syrup: production, properties and applications, in FW Schenck & RE Hebeda, eds, Starch Hydrolysis Products – Worldwide Technology, Production, and Applications. VCH Publishers, Inc. pp. 177-200 and Center for Science in the Public Interest, Food Additives, http://www.cspinet.org/reports/chemcuisine.htm
1. Letter from Geraldine June, FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, to Audrae Erickson, President of the Corn Refiners Association, July 3, 2008.