Chemical x Dictionary

Found an ingredient you can't pronounce? Allow us to help.

What is High Fructose Corn Syrup or HFCS?

High Fructose Corn Syrup is a common sweetener derived from corn which is added to packaged foods and has the sweetness that is equivalent to sucrose. It is a type of carbohydrate that is a mixture of fructose and glucose. It is derived from corn through a wet milling technique. 

What are the other names this ingredient is also known as? 

High fructose corn syrup, a common sweetener, may go by other names like Corn syrup, Glucose-fructose syrup, Fructose-glucose syrup, or Maize syrup on ingredient lists. Checking for these terms helps spot this sweetener in different foods and drinks. 

What products is it used in? 

This ingredient is added to commercial products such as baked goods to help brown the surface and give moisture, structure and texture, it is added in beverages and candies for flavouring, and in canned and packaged goods, jams, yogurts as a preservative, flavouring ingredient and emulsifier. 

What is the source of this ingredient?

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a sweetener made from corn starch through enzymatic processes. While it is derived from a natural source (corn), the refining and processing methods involved make it a processed sweetener. So, it is not considered entirely natural, but it is derived from a natural source. It is generally considered both vegan and vegetarian. It is derived from corn, a plant-based source. However, some individuals following strict dietary guidelines may choose to inquire about the specific processing methods or consult product labels to ensure alignment with their dietary preferences. 

Is this ingredient bad for me? 

The fructose in HFCS can cause a range of health implications, including but not limited to fatty liver disease, diabetes, obesity and weight gain.  

What should I do?

Avoid when possible.

Tell your friends what’s hiding in their food