Friday, October 14, 2011

How is High Fructose Corn Syrup Really Made?

It is safe to say that the majority of processed foods have high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as one of their ingredients. And I know I have talked about this food like substance before- here's a link. I hate to run the risk of being redundant, but I find it that important to spread the word about how dangerous HFCS really is. Below is an excerpt from an article on how HFCS is actually made. 
Manufacturing high fructose corn syrup isn’t simple, it is not natural, and the results certainly aren’t healthy. The first clue that this ubiquitous sweetener might not be natural hits you when you find out what type of corn is used to make it. Instead of using tasty, tender kernels of organically grown heirloom sweet corn, manufacturers use tough, starchy kernels of genetically modified dent corn—the starchier the better. If you’ve ever driven through Iowa, you’ve probably seen acres and acres of this corn being grown, and you might have been tempted to stop the car and snatch an ear or two of farm grown goodness. If so, you’d be in for a rude surprise. This corn tastes terrible. It turns into a nasty paste in your mouth.
The sad truth is that American farmers grow billions of bushels of corn that no human being, including their families, can eat. A whole lot of this corn goes to feed livestock, some is used to make ethanol, and another significant batch is used to make corn syrup. Since 1995, the American taxpayers have shelled out about $77 billion in corn subsidies. With this financial incentive, Americans grow way too much corn, and a lot of it sits around for many months before being used. Traveling through the Midwest, you’ll find mountains of corn kernels sitting next to stuffed siloes. These dried-out, tough, starchy kernels of corn are the basis of high fructose corn syrup.
The first step in making this “natural” sweetener is turning these leathery nuggets into corn starch. Most manufacturers use a wet milling process that involves warm water and a small amount of a caustic substance like sulfur dioxide. Once you’ve got your corn starch, you treat it with an enzyme called alpha-amylase to produce shorter chains of sugars called polysaccharides. Alpha-amylase is usually manufactured using the Bacillus species of bacteria. You may or may not gain a measure of comfort knowing that the industrial plants that produce alpha-amylase purify it before shipping it off to the plants that manufacture high fructose corn syrup.
Once we’ve put our cornstarch through the alpha-amylase step, we need to introduce an enzyme called glucoamylase. This will break the sugar chains down even further and yield the simple sugar glucose. In case you’re wondering, manufacturing glucoamylase requires no bacteria. They use a fungus called Aspergillus. If you could examine the fermentation tanks where this process takes place, you’d see cute little balls of Aspergillus floating on the top of the vat. Kind of whets your appetite, though, don’t it?
Let’s see, we’ve subjected our tough kernels of dent corn to a bit of sulfur dioxide, alpha-amylase, and glucoamylase so far, so what’s our next step to make this simple corn sugar? Oh yes, we now need to get our hands on a rather expensive enzyme called glucose-isomerase. Don’t worry too much about the cost. Unlike the caustic substance and the other two enzymes, glucose-isomerase is reusable because it is packed in columns and the sugar mixture is passed over it.
So, do we have high fructose corn syrup yet? Nope!
We still need to go through a liquid chromatography step which will bring the mixture up to 90 percent fructose, and then we’ll need to add our high fructose substance back into the original mixture until we achieve the 55 percent fructose point that commercial food producers prefer for ideal sweetness.
That’s all there is to it! (original source)

There is even a documentary about making high fructose corn syrup. Below is a snip-it from King Corn.

Want to see what pure propaganda looks like? This is what the Corn Refiners Association has to say about high fructose corn syrup, and these are their and CornSugar.comNotice how the people who are against it in the beginning act dumb as S-H-I-T when they are asked "what's wrong with high fructose corn syrup?". 

NOTE: This is what the Corn Refiners Association things of YOU (as well as the government since they subsidize all this corn production). What would you say if I portrayed you as being this stupid and manipulable. You'd be like, "I'm not reading that chick's F-ING blog anymore!!"

I know you aren't dumb. Don't eat it. Making this one change to your diet will make a HUGE impact. Read the labels! 

Nuff said! 

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