High Fructose Corn Syrups’ Bad Rap

High fructose corn syrup has gotten a really bad rap as of late. More and more companies are busily switching their recipes and offering customers “real cane sugar” instead of the high fructose corn syrup.

However, a movement is now afoot to try to reverse this trend and to explain to customers that all kinds of sugars, regardless of source can be bad for them in quantity.

Corn Sugar Instead of Corn Syrup

For the time being though, the whole backlash against high fructose corn syrup has gotten so bad that some producers of the stuff have been calling for a relabeling of their products. They want to refer to it as “corn sugar” instead of high fructose corn syrup.

This reminds us of Passover Sweet and Low packets. The next time you’re in a Jewish neighborhood in the spring, see if you can spot some Passover Sweet and Low and take a glance at the ingredients. They are: nutritive sucrose, sodium saccharin. In other words, plain, ordinary table sugar together with the usual artificial sweetner.

Why is it labeled this way you ask? Because maltodextrin, which is ordinarily used to provide bulk to sodium saccharin, is not kosher for Passover. The plan by some producers of corn syrup to re-label their product strikes us as being much the same.

Why it Matters to You

Now you may be wondering what a discussion of the woes of the high fructose corn syrup industry is doing in a blog about the restaurant industry. The answer is quite simple.

As restaurateurs, we need to keep a constant “ear to the ground” to try and find out what it is our customers will want to eat so that we can make sure that our menus reflect this appropriately. You may find more and more customers asking you if you use high fructose corn syrup in your food, on the theory that it’s somehow less healthy for them.

Plain Sugar or Honey

For now, you can easily counter by using plain table sugar for any dishes that call for sugar instead. However, if those who are pushing to get the idea of all kinds of sugars labeled as “bad” (which, let’s face it, they are), you may be able to substitute things like honey or molasses in some recipe in order to stay ahead of the “hip” curve. However, this effort can keep your high value customers coming in and enjoying fine dining in your establishment.

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