Glucose-fructose syrup is becoming an increasingly popular addition to food, and more controversy is growing around it. Should we be afraid of him?
1. Glucose-fructose syrup – origin
From time to time, what was sweet was considered good. From birth, we prefer a sweet taste that relieves tension and gives pleasure. These tastes for sweet taste are used by food producers. At the beginning, the sucrose obtained was added to the food from sugar beet or sugar cane. However, its use was expensive and inefficient.
So we started looking for a cheaper alternative. In 1957, for the first time a process was described in which glucose-fructose syrup was obtained by enzymatic hydrolysis of corn starch, in which the fructose content was 55%. Initially, it was obtained from potatoes, today the main substrate is corn starch.
He gained fame in the seventies in the United States. It was cheap to produce, showed low viscosity and microbiological stability, and the liquid consistency ensured ease of use. It was therefore an ideal addition for the food industry.
An additional advantage of glucose-fructose syrup was that fructose is much sweeter than sucrose, thanks to which the syrup could be more efficient. Unfortunately, syrup replaced sugar not only in sweets, but also began to be added to mayonnaise, ketchup, yogurt, cornflakes.
2. Is glucose-fructose syrup harmful?
Fructose is a sugar found mainly in fruits, it is much sweeter than sucrose. In nature, it occurs in combination with fiber, so that by consuming it, our body is protected from excess consumption and its negative effects. Unfortunately, the food industry has isolated fructose and in the form of glucose-fructose syrup it is added everywhere, which results in its consumption in excess.
Glucose is a sugar essential for the functioning of every cell, it is stored partly as muscle and liver glycogen, partly converted to fat, and finally utilized for the body’s current needs. Its consumption is controlled by the nervous system, when there is too much for her hunger is inhibited.
The process of fructose metabolism takes place differently. Fructose differs in chemical structure and glucose activity. Her transformation in the body is a different path. Large fructose consumption promotes the development of metabolic syndrome and overproduction of adipose tissue, which accumulates around internal organs.
Fructose does not stimulate glucose and leptin as glucose, which sends a satiety signal to the brain, so it’s not difficult to overdose. In addition, it stimulates the sweet appetite. As a result of excessive consumption of fructose, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes are produced.
Due to its widespread presence in food products, its consumption increased significantly. The Americans calculated that in the years 1970-2010 the consumption of glucose-fructose syrup among American society increased from 1.36 to 13.02 kg per person. With the increase in consumption of the syrup, there was an increase in cases of type 2 diabetes, depression, ADHD, obesity, cardiovascular disease.
3. Sugar and glucose-fructose syrup
The range of products containing glucose-fructose syrup is wide. That is why it is important to make purchases, read labels and check what is the composition of the product chosen by us. If the product needs to be sweetened, it better contain sugar or glucose than glucose-fructose syrup. It may also be concealed under the name isoglucose, HFCS, and fructose corn syrup. Unfortunately, the list of products in which it may occur is very long.
You can read also: Sugar – yes or no?