Crystalline Fructose

Crystalline_FructoseBy: Billy BeerSlugger

I’m a person who usually looks at the health information on the back of a package or drink to see what I’m putting into my body. Increasingly and especially in so called “health drinks” I have seen “Crystaline Fructose” as a sweetener. Inquisitive as I am I had to look this healthy stuff up that has been replacing sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup in some of the drinks I see.

Well essentially Crystalline Fructose is just crystallized Corn Syrup which is pretty much the same stuff that’s in High Fructose Corn Syrup and that is the same stuff that’s in soda like Coke and Pepsi.  So Crystalline Fructose is about 5% sweeter than High Fructose Corn Syrup and 20% sweeter than Sugar which allows beverage companies to add less of it to their drinks and thus cut about 20-30 calories per 12 oz. beverage. The marketing behind the beverages can employ a “healthier” or “reduced calorie” tag-line because ultimately the calories have been reduced and there is no High Fructose Corn Syrup in the beverage even though Crystalline Fructose is made from Corn Syrup.

I’m inclined to drink a beverage with Crystalline Fructose in it over artificial sweeteners like Aspartame and the like found in Diet Sodas. However, I really don’t think there’s a good substitute for regular sugar for sweetened beverages and drinking them in moderation. I don’t trust these companies/corporations who’s main goal is to increase their profits. That’s why I was glad to see Snapple go to real sugar in it’s beverages, at least you know what you are getting into.

One “health” drink I rather like is Arizona Rescue Water and it uses Crystalline Fructose to make a 20 oz beverage about 75 calories and packs in a bunch of stuff like Alpha Lipoic Acid, green tea extract, milk thistle extract, and L-Glutathione and various vitamins. It generally makes me feel slightly better after I drink it and doesn’t have a sugary taste.  Of course water is your best option in terms of watching calories but there are at least some better options than soda and processed fruit juice which generally still employ High Fructose Corn Syrup as the main sweetener.

Overall I wouldn’t be surprised down the line to hear that Crystalline Fructose is bad for you. There are even concern right now as to the effects of Crystalline Fructose and hepatoxicity and it’s effects on the liver even though the FDA considers it safe. Seeing how Crystalline Fructose still comes from Corn Syrup I am on the fence as to embracing it because I am an opponent of High Fructose Corn Syrup. Making Corn Syrup sweeter to reduce calories isn’t really a solution to a problem but I’ll try and consume it in moderation until more data comes out on it. Maybe you should too.

Throwback Pepsi, Mountain Dew?

pepsi-throwbackBy: Billy BeerSlugger

Ok so apparently Pepsi is rolling out a version called Throwback, which will replace High Fructose Corn Syrup with actual real sugar.  Both Pepsi and Pepsi owned Mountain Dew have introduced a throwback version.

While I have not yet tried either of these throwback versions I can already surmise that I will like it 10 to 15 times better than than their counterparts.

Going back to one of my earlier posts when i ripped into artificial sweeteners I guess I failed to realize that Coke, Pepsi and probably 99 percent of other main stream soda pop’s are made with High Fructose Corn Syrup.  While High Fructose Corn Syrup is obviously not sugar as I had seemed to convey in the article, I going to stick with my guns and tell you that High Fructose Corn Syrup is still better for you than these other artificial sweeteners in diet soda.  Yes I am a doctor and a scientist so I know about these things.

I have heard it’s kind of hard to find these Throwback sodas, i don’t think they are available in your works soda machine.  A friend tells me that Philadelphia Based Mitchell & Ness (of throwback sports jersey fame) does carry the designer soda in the store to go along with the Throwback motif.

One cool thing I have seen is that Snapple Iced Teas and Juices are moving to all sugar.  They are ditching the high Fructose Corn Syrup entirely.  That’s very different from what Pepsi Co. is offering as a limited release and sticking with the HFCS. I think you really have to commend Snapple on what they’re doing.

I have read that switching to real sugar as opposed to using High Fructose can be slightly more costly to produce and therefore a higher cost to the consumer.  While most things are going up these days i think that raising the price of soda and making it healthier (i.e. real sugar) is a win-win for the consumer.  People drink less soda and the soda they do drink is better for them.  Though in contrast, less soda sold is bad for Coke and Pepsi Co and jobs may be lost.  As always action and reaction.