We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

High Fructose Corn Syrup: A Dangerous Chemical in Food

The whole doc is available only for registered users

A limited time offer! Get a custom sample essay written according to your requirements urgent 3h delivery guaranteed

Order Now

One of the most dangerous chemicals in food can be found in almost every American’s pantry. High fructose corn syrup is located on the list of ingredients for almost every packaged food and in almost every fast food item. It is being used to replace the effect of natural sugars, because it is more cost effective. However, it is easy to ignore the fact that this chemical is dangerous and is not the best option for your body. I chose this dangerous chemical, because I am fascinated by how popular it is regardless of the negative effects. It can be found in almost anything that is a reach away, and it created a wave of improvement in the processed food industry. This chemical leads to many health issues, and its makes the human body react in an abnormal way. While researching the history, chemical compositions, and all of the important details surrounding the dangerous effects of high fructose corn syrup, it is easy to understand why it is dangerous and why people need to understand what they are ingesting.

In the early to mid 1900s, food was sweetened by natural sugars, for example, sugar cane. Since sugar cane is grown in places near the equator, North America obtained this by having it transported. This action was used for decades, until Earl Kooi and Richard Marshall created the first introduction of high fructose corn syrup in the 1950s. By making it in North America, without using natural international sugars, this created a cheaper alternative. The rural parts of America are known for their rural land that produces fresh produce, which allows corn to be cheap and the supply can be controlled easily to make high fructose corn syrup.

While this idea did not take off, Dr.Yoshiyuki Takasaki created an industrial process that would make the production of high fructose corn syrup cheaper and a lot sweeter than the modern sucrose, which was used as a sweetener before high fructose corn syrup, that was made in their food and drinks. “…[high fructose corn syrup] was shown to prevent drying, retain moisture, blend well with other sweeteners, acids and other flavorings, control crystallization, and maintain an overall stable texture with the processed food. What this means to consumers is a product more pleasing to the taste buds and on the eyes. For the manufacturer, it means an easier product to make, with a longer shelf life, as opposed to using sucrose”. By high fructose corn syrup producing a longer shelf life for processed food, and keeping it tasting moist for long period of time, it became popular to incorporate into a food product and made logical sense.

Two of the reasons of high fructose corn syrup becoming popular consists of its ability at being able to mix with liquids and it improving the taste of anything it combined with. It is understandable how this became popular in the food and drink production, from it being cheaper than importing natural sugars, increasing the shelf life of processed food, and by it tasting sweeter. However, as more research is being done, it has been found that it is not as healthy as you might think.

In order to fully understand what high fructose corn syrup does to the human body, it is best to understand its chemical composition. When understanding the sweetness of high fructose corn syrup, it is informative to know there are a couple of types. For example, HFCS 42 or HFCS 55, gives the percentage of fructose it contains with the rest of the percentage being glucose and water. HFCS 42, or 42% fructose, is found in mainly baked goods, cereals, and other processed foods. While HFCS 55, or 55% fructose, is found in mainly in sodas. It contains mainly carbohydrates and partially water, and does not contain any protein, fat, or any nutrients that are needed to fulfill daily activities. Compared to high fructose corn syrup, sucrose is 50% fructose and 50% glucose. By comparing sucrose and high fructose corn syrup, there are a couple of things to know.

High fructose corn syrup contains water, whereas sucrose does not. “In sucrose, a chemical bond joins the glucose and fructose. Once one eats, stomach acid and gut enzymes rapidly break down this chemical bond. In HFCS, no chemical bond joins the glucose and fructose”. By understanding how the body reacts to this chemical, it is important to know the chemical composition and how it’s properties work to affect the digestive system and how the body uses it to fulfill its needs.

The body does not process high fructose corn syrup and sucrose, a natural sugar, the same way. In order to fully be able to understand the differences of sucrose and high fructose corn syrup, here is some information to show how the body uses this unnatural sugar. In order to properly function, your body needs energy and it can get some with carbohydrates. Sucrose, a carbohydrate, is broken down by the body once ingested. Once it is broken down, it is metabolized to deliver energy to your cells, which is then used to give you enough energy to complete mental and physical activities. In small amounts, sugar is very good at providing energy so the body can function.

However, when ingested in large amounts, it is more dangerous to the body. An excessive amount of sugar produces weight gain, because the body will create a resistance to leptin, a hormone that informs the body when it is full and to stop consuming food or beverages. Another important effect from a high sugar diet, is the greater risk of heart disease. It has also been linked to “..atherosclerosis, a disease characterized by fatty, artery-clogging deposits” (). By ingesting an excessive amount of sugar, it can also increase your blood sugar, which is called hyperglycemia. This is when your body does not produce enough insulin, or it is not produced properly. By having a long term effect of high blood sugar, your organs can be harmed and blood vessels could be damaged. Which can lead to heart attacks or strokes. Excessive sugar consumption also increases your chances of having diabetes, which is when the body is not able to produce insulin, a hormone, or is having problems producing it.

When high fructose corn syrup became the popular sweetener for food and drinks, these diseases became more popular. When most food and drinks became sweeter, it became more addicting and the above mentioned diseases could be linked to the consumption of high fructose corn syrup. However compared to sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, “…is metabolized to fat in your body far more rapidly than any other sugar, and, because most fructose is consumed in liquid form, its negative metabolic effects are significantly magnified.” (). This excess amount of sugar overloads the liver, and gets turned into fat which contributes to an excess of fat and to the above mentioned diseases. When high fructose corn sugar became known, it was put into a lot of food and drinks, which sparked a movement for America’s health issues revolving this unnatural sugar. Compared to sucrose, this unnatural sugar makes the body work harder by dealing with excess fat.

Doctors today are now learning it’s negative effects, and are trying to let people know how bad it is for their body. It can still be found in most food and drinks, but more people are becoming more aware of how their body reacts to their eating habits. Today, there are ways where someone can fight the diseases caused by excessive sugar amounts with modern medicine or lifestyle changes doctors desire, for example: having a nutrious diet, not eating processed foods, lowering sugar consumption, and insulin shots. Although there are mainly negative reasons to not consume high fructose corn syrup, there are a couple of economical advantage.

Having high fructose corn syrup in processed foods does help with the economy in a couple of practical ways. Mainly, since there is more high fructose corn syrup in a product it will be seen as more delicious and tastier. As mentioned above, it also increases the shelflife of food and drink products, which allows the company to receive more profits for their products. By having their product on the shelf for more time, this increases the opportunity for it to be bought and consumed. Another reason consists of its ability to allow American companies to save money by buying the supplies in the country, rather than having it shipped internationally. This decreases the cost of transportation of goods and helps boost America’s economy.

The production of this unnatural sugar created a wave of products being improved and boosted our countries economy, and also boosted health concerns throughout America. Having excess amounts of high fructose corn syrup is dangerous to your body and health. This chemical increases health concerns, and can be found in almost every food product. It is important to know what you are putting in your body and the effects it has, because it will help you make decisions that is best for your health. In the future, I believe that high fructose corn syrup will remain relevant, but I hope that people will start to understand the effects it has. Personally, after learning all of these negative effects, I will try to limit the consumption of sugar I am taking in. Learning how bad high fructose corn syrup is for your body, it is important to understand how it works and how your body reacts to excessive amounts. This chemical leads to many health concerns, and it should be more understood how much food and drinks contain it. This chemical has been in America’s diet for decades, and people are still suffering from the effect is has on our bodies.

Related Topics

We can write a custom essay

According to Your Specific Requirements

Order an essay
Materials Daily
100,000+ Subjects
2000+ Topics
Free Plagiarism
All Materials
are Cataloged Well

Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. If you need this or any other sample, we can send it to you via email.

By clicking "SEND", you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails.
Sorry, but only registered users have full access

How about getting this access

Your Answer Is Very Helpful For Us
Thank You A Lot!


Emma Taylor


Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?

Can't find What you were Looking for?

Get access to our huge, continuously updated knowledge base

The next update will be in:
14 : 59 : 59