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Um, High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) Secretly Got A Name Change [News]

high fructose corn syrup name change, hfcs name change, hfcs, high fructose corn syrup


While America was collectively immersed in a big fat holiday coma, food manufacturers were silently at work reconstructing the long-term viability of one of food’s most notorious and dastardly ingredients — High Fructose Corn Syrup, or HFCS.

You know it. You know that you shouldn’t shove it down your esophagus. You know that identifying it is a quick method to spot garbage food. HFCS, along with hydrogenated oils, are probably the two additives consumers key on most when scanning food labels for things they shouldn’t eat.

And manufacturers have caught on. Unsurprisingly. According to, rather then discontinue use of HFCS—because why would they, it’s insanely cheap and abundant—they took the deceptive, stealthy route.

Rename it. Under a name that’s similar, but seemingly MUCH more innocuous — “fructose” or “fructose syrup.

According to the Corn Refiners Association (CRA):

“A third product, HFCS-90, is sometimes used in natural and “light” foods, where very little is needed to provide sweetness. Syrups with 90% fructose will not state high fructose corn syrup on the label, they will state “fructose” or “fructose syrup.”

My reaction: WTF. This is deceptive on so many levels, with no intention other than covering up a monstrosity. And it gets worse in more ways than one. For one, given the higher % of fructose (90% compared to 55% in typical HFCS), it may actually be worse for the body. And more egregious, companies using “fructose,” aka HFCS-90, are actively slapping on labels promoting that their products “contain no high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).”

That’s a blatant lie, don’t insult us.

And if you want hard evidence—complete with that “no high fructose corn syrup” claim—here’s what it looks like in the wild, as seen on General Mills’ Vanilla Chex.

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More to come.

(h/t @bgill09)

Bryan DiSanto

Bryan DiSanto

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto. I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness junkie.

I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine.

When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

Come be friends with me on Instagram (@BRYDISANTO) & Snapchat (BRYDISANTO).
Bryan DiSanto
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  • Sad Turtle

    Thanks for the heads up! What really gets me is that the cereal box says everything it can to make it sound healthy, even though it isn’t. Although 90% of people will believe they are actually being healthy. Sad…

  • Jen

    This is crazy! Don’t labels have to actually be accurate to be legal? You can’t say something has whole grains in it if it doesn’t – how is this any different? You shouldn’t be able to say that something doesn’t have HFCS in it when it does. Thanks so much for the heads up – would have never have figured this out on my own…

    • It’s a loophole and a rounding issue. Because it’s “HFCS-90” and 90% fructose, it’s technically close enough for producers to just round up and call it ‘fructose.’

      I don’t understand it because they’re fundamentally different things. The FDA has a ton of things to fix, this being the newest major issue.

      Glad you’re aware of it! We’ll keep you posted on any new developments.

  • paul

    Thats so dirty! I’m insanely allergic to corn and corn products and by-products. So they’re basically signing my death certificate. Dirty bastards!

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