History of Sugar - Other Sweeteners

Other Sweeteners

See also: Sugar substitute

In the United States and Japan, high-fructose corn syrup has replaced sugar in some uses, particularly in soft drinks and processed foods.

The process by which high-fructose corn syrup is produced was first developed by Richard O. Marshall and Earl P. Kooi in 1957. The industrial production process was refined by Dr. Y. Takasaki at Agency of Industrial Science and Technology of Ministry of International Trade and Industry of Japan in 1965–1970. High-fructose corn syrup was rapidly introduced to many processed foods and soft drinks in the United States from around 1975 to 1985.

A system of sugar tariffs and sugar quotas imposed in 1977 in the United States significantly increased the cost of imported sugar and U.S. producers sought cheaper sources. High-fructose corn syrup, derived from corn, is more economical because the domestic U.S. and Canadian prices of sugar are twice the global price and the price of corn is kept low through government subsidies paid to growers. High-fructose corn syrup became an attractive substitute, and is preferred over cane sugar among the vast majority of American food and beverage manufacturers. Soft drink makers such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi use sugar in other nations, but switched to high-fructose corn syrup in the United States in 1984.

The average American consumed approximately 37.8 lb (17.1 kg) of high-fructose corn syrup in 2008, versus 46.7 lb (21.2 kg) of sucrose.

In recent years it has been hypothesized that the increase of high-fructose corn syrup usage in processed foods may be linked to various health conditions, including metabolic syndrome, hypertension, dyslipidemia, hepatic steatosis, insulin resistance, and obesity. However, there is to date little evidence that high-fructose corn syrup is any unhealthier, calorie for calorie, than sucrose or other simple sugars. Some researchers hypothesize that fructose may trigger the process by which fats are formed, to a greater extent than other simple sugars. However, most commonly used blends of high-fructose corn syrup contain a nearly one-to-one ratio of fructose and glucose, just like common sucrose, and should therefore be metabolically identical after the first steps of sucrose metabolism, in which the sucrose is split into fructose and glucose components. At the very least, the increasing prevalence of high-fructose corn syrup has certainly led to an increase in added sugar calories in food, which may reasonably increase the incidence of these and other diseases.

Read more about this topic:  History Of Sugar

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