COMPOSITION

HFCS: Made to Be Sweet As Sugar

The two main types of high fructose corn syrup are HFCS-55 and HFCS-42. When HFCS-55 was developed, it was specifically formulated to provide sweetness equivalent to table sugar so that consumers would not perceive a difference in product sweetness and taste. HFCS-42, which is used in baked goods and many flavored noncarbonated beverages, is somewhat less sweet than sugar.

High in Fructose? Not Really.

As a term, “high fructose corn syrup” doesn’t live up to its name. HFCS is not high in fructose compared to other sweeteners. It contains an equivalent amount of fructose as sugar. In fact, HFCS-42 contains less fructose than table sugar or honey.

HFCS-55 is composed of 55 percent fructose, 42 percent glucose and 3 percent other sugars/polysaccharides (glucose chains). HFCS-42 is composed of 42 percent fructose, 53 percent glucose and 5 percent other sugars/polysaccharides (glucose chains). In comparison, sugar (sucrose) is a disaccharide of 50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose linked by a chemical bond (C12H22O11), while honey contains 49 percent fructose.

See How Sugars Compare

View the charts below.

Composition of Common Caloric Sweeteners
Composition of Common Caloric Sweeteners
Source

Fructose content for agave nectar varies widely by brand. Data presented are averages for leading commercially-available brands in the U.S. as reported by manufacturers (Wholesome Sweeteners, Nekulti) White JW and Doner LW. 1980. Honey Composition and Properties. Beekeeping in the United States Agriculture Handbook #335. Pages 82-91. Calculated from data presented in Table 1. Hanover LM, White JS. 1993. Manufacturing, composition, and applications of fructose. Am J Clin Nutr 58(suppl 5):724S-732S.

Relative Sweetness of Selected Nutritive Sweeteners
Relative Sweetness of Selected Nutritive Sweeteners
Source

Fructose content for agave nectar varies widely by brand. Data presented are averages for leading commercially-available brands in the U.S. as reported by manufacturers (Wholesome Sweeteners, Nekulti). White JW and Doner LW. 1980. Honey Composition and Properties. Beekeeping in the United States Agriculture Handbook #335. Pages 82-91. Calculated from data presented in Table 1. Hanover LM, White JS. 1993. Manufacturing, composition, and applications of fructose. Am J Clin Nutr 58(suppl 5):724S-732S.

Fructose and Glucose Content As % of Total Sugars*
Fructose and Glucose Content As %25 of Total Simple Sugars
Source

1. NutritionData.com. Cond√© Nast. 2012. 2. 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. 3. White JW and Doner LW. 1980. Honey Composition and Properties. Beekeeping in the United States Agriculture Handbook #335. Pages 82-91.
*Total sugars after absorption = Σ hydrolyzed (sucrose + glucose + fructose + glucose polymers)
**Fructose content for agave nectar varies widely by brand. Data presented are averages for leading commercially-available brands in the U.S. as reported by manufacturers (Wholesome Sweeteners, Nekulti).

Sweetener Comparison Chart
Sweetener Comparison Chart
Source

*Total sugars after absorption = Ʃ hydrolyzed (sucrose + glucose + fructose + glucose polymers)
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. and White JW and Doner LW. 1980. Honey Composition and Properties. Beekeeping in the United States Agriculture Handbook #335. Pages 82-91


HFCS -42 Contains Less Fructose than Table Sugar or Honey
Source

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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