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Food & Health : Laws & Politics Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM

FDA: High fructose corn syrup not natural
By Sue Mueller
Apr 22, 2008 - 7:44:46 AM

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TUESDAY April 22, 2008 ( -- The Food and Drug Administration had said that products containing high fructose corn syrup cannot be considered "natural", reported early this month.

The beverage industry has long regarded HFCS as natural. While the term "natural" has been becoming increasingly popular among consumers, market competition seems to have driven the sugar industry to oppose the “natural” claim for HFCS, according to

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a food policy advocate also expressed its concern about the "natural" labeling for HFCS because of the way fructose and glucose in HFCS are produced.  The organization early threatened to file suit against Kraft claiming the company falsely calls Capri Sun Drink "All Natural". Later the CSPI dropped its suit after Kraft announced it would abandon "all natural" claims on Capri Sun.

HFCS is produced using an acid and or an enzymatic process. "Consequently, we would object to the use of the term 'natural' on a product containing HFCS," the FDA told in an email.

In the email, Geraldine June Supervisor of the Product Evaluation and Labeling team at FDA's Office of Nutrition, Labeling and Dietary Supplements explained that FHCS is prepared from a corn starch hydrolysate by partial enzymatic conversion of glucose to fructose using an insoluble glucose isomerase preparation, which is supported with safe and suitable immobilization/fixing agents.

"The use of synthetic fixing agents in the enzyme preparation, which is then used to produce HFCS, would not be consistent with our (…) policy regarding the use of the term 'natural',” June was quoted by as writing in her email.

"Moreover, the corn starch hydrolysate, which is the substrate used in the production of HFCS, may be obtained through the use of safe and suitable acids or enzymes.  Depending on the type of acid(s) used to obtain the corn starch hydrolysate, this substrate itself may not fit within the description of 'natural' and, therefore, HCFS produced from such corn starch hydrolysate would not qualify for a 'natural' labeling term."

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