The Good, the Bad and High Fructose Corn Syrup
Considered natural, corn syrup in essence is a sugar; it is a sugar made from corn. I would reckon that most folks think that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is just another additive of food ingredients and never give it a second notion. I was once like that as well; it was not until about two years ago I realized that corn syrup was somewhat controversial. Now, after reading Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, I realize just how controversial this topic really is. Produced for its benefits since the early 1970’s, corn syrup has been raising more than just a few eyebrows as the center of debate of late. Since having read the book, I have decided to research both perspectives, regarding the benefits and disadvantages of HFCS and the premises of each. One of the many highlights the author draws outs, aside from the history of corn and how it is industrialized, is the importance (and even the advantages) of HFCS and the harmful effects it has on our daily lives, which I’ll explain in this paper.
HFCS has many benefits and it is highly defended by the Corn Refiners Association. Perhaps the largest and most perceivable benefit is the cost of producing this sugar. Since the price of corn has drastically reduced, it cost less to make than its cousin; cane sugar. According to the Corn Refiners Association, other benefits include texture, browning, stability, consistency and baking (Corn Refiners Association, 2008). HFCS retains moisture longer, so snacks hold a certain texture better and longer, as well as its resistance to crystallization. Because it can retain moisture longer, the use of HFCS prevents spoilage, extending the shelf life of processed baked goods (Long, 2012). These benefits must be a Chef’s delight. Considering how far we have come from wrapping raw meat in paper after dousing it in salt in hopes of preserving it. Foods are not comparable, the differences in tastes from foods that are...
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