Monday, April 18, 2011

History of High Fructose Corn Syrup

In 1744, German chemist found that the sugar isolated from sugar beets was identical to the sugar from sugar cane.

The blockades by England during Napoleon War in early 1800s, prevented imported items, including food, from entering France. Needing to feed his army and his country, Napoleon offered cash rewards for new ways to produce and preserve food domestically.

One cash reward was given for the production of sugar from native plants. Starch sugar was originally produced by treating potato starch with acid.

The resulting starch sugar was not as sweet as cane sugar, so when the blocked was lifted, France stopped producing it. Production began again in the mid 1800s, this time in the United States.

In 1811 Russian chemist named Kirchoff discovered that starch yielded a sweet substance when heated with acid.

Chemist later determined that the sweet taste was caused by the hydrolytic conversion of starch into it basic unit, dextrose or crystalline glucose.

These experiments established the basis for the commercial production of starch syrups and crude starch sugar.

The first corn syrup in the United States was produced in Buffalo, New York, in 1866. A major breakthrough occurred in 1967 with the patenting of an enzymatic process to convert dextrose to fructose, a 6 carbon sugar that is sweeter tasting than sucrose.

High fructose corn syrups was developed in the 1970s. Americans began producing starch sugar from cornstarch instead of potato starch. Its cheaper than table sugar.

In 1971, food scientist in Japan found a way to produce a cheaper sweetener from corn. HFCS began to appear in frozen foods to protect against freezer burn and in vending machine products to preserve taste.

In the 1980s, both Coke and Pepsi switched from a fifty-fifty blend of sugar and corn syrup to 100 percent high fructose corn syrup, saving them 20 percent in sweetener costs.
History of High Fructose Corn Syrup