A Lot of Fighting Words Over Sugar

Published on: 18:54PM Sep 11, 2012

We ran across this article on the continued fight between the makers of "natural" sugar (i.e. from cane and beets) and "corn sugar".  The corn processing industry has  tried to change the official name of their product from high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) to "corn sugar".  The perception is that the word sugar has a better name than HFCS since most of the media appears to be blaming pop containing HFCS for causing most of us to get too fat.

A couple of years ago several "natural" sugar farmers brought a suit against the major corn refiners alleging their product is the real sugar and corn syrup could not be considered sugar.

The judge has ruled that their suit has merit and can proceed forward.  In response, the corn refiners (primarily Cargill, ADM, Tate & Lyle and Ingredion (the old Corn Products company) filed a countersuit alleging that the "natural" sugar lobby has harmed their business and reputation.

I am not a chemist, but I can see both sides of the case.  Although "natural" sugar comes from beets and cane, I have toured a sugar cane plant and their is a lot of work involved in "processing" the cane into sugar.  If this still means the sugar is natural, then I can see how the corn industry could argue that "processing" corn is no different than processing cane or beets.

However, in processing cane into sugar involves simply crushing and splitting the cane until the final sugar comes out.  There is no chemical separation like there may be with "corn sugar".

Again, it is an interesting article to read and sugar does not always make the medicine go down.