For a few years, a small set of food-product entries have been boasting that they have “real” sugar, instead of the demon high fructose corn syrup. But that trend appears to be slowing, says this story from foodnavigator-usa.com.
The story originates — no surprise — from the Corn Refiners Association, happy to trumpet what it thinks is good news, that people are getting past the notion that their form of sugar is particularly evil. I suppose I’d be glad about that too, if I were a corn partisan.
The numbers in the story, which it says come from Mintel’s global new-products database, say that 2.35 percent of the 20,000-plus products introduced last year were touted for absences of HFCS. That compares to 2.30 percent, 2.09 percent, and 1.56 percent in the three years previous. So it's still going up, but appears to be cresting.
I've been on the corn producers' side in its bid to rename HFCS to "corn sugar," because whether one intensifies sweetness from cane, beets, corn, or fruit, it's all refined sugar to me. As you probably know, table sugar is equal parts fructose and glucose, and HFCS is 55 perent fructose, so "high" is accurate while not really being true.
But few processed-food substances are under a darker cloud than refined sugars, so triumphing on the consumer-perception battlefield to be declared “only as bad as the other guys” seems a Pyrrhic victory.