As consumers have become more health conscious, and more savvy in their buying habits, the processed food industry is reacting by resorting to subterfuge. When you go down the grocery store aisles, you immediately see that more and more packaging bears the words “100% natural” on its labels. That is why health experts recommend you buy from companies you know you can trust.
Food manufacturers are now hiding the ingredients consumers have rejected. One of these is high fructose corn syrup, a manufactured sweetener that has been shown to be dangerous to your health. HFCS is not the innocent fructose that is the natural sugar that we taste in fresh fruit.
One such product is General Mills’ Vanilla Chex, a redesigned version of the Chex cereal that has been on grocery shelves for years. The label on the front of the box clearly states “no high fructose corn syrup,” but when you flip to the back and read the whole ingredient list, there is the new name for the same old problem: isolated fructose.
The Corn Refiners Association (CRA) admits to the sneaky name change. The industry is now using the term “fructose” to denote a product previously called as HFCS-90. This is 90 percent pure fructose, as opposed to regular HFCS, which contains either 42 or 55 percent fructose.
A third product, HFCS-90, is sometimes used in natural and ‘light’ foods, where very little is needed to provide sweetness. Syrups with 90% fructose will not state high fructose corn syrup on the label [anymore], they will state “fructose” or “fructose syrup.”
The industry makes the rules, controlling the designations used in labeling. The CRA has simply eliminated the name “high fructose corn syrup” for the laboratory-created sweetener that is 90 percent fructose, and replaced it with “fructose.” And that is how processed food manufacturers get away with telling you, the consumer, “This product is high fructose corn syrup-free.”