Walker, R W. Fructose content in popular beverages made with and without high fructose corn syrup. Nutrition, 2014.


Objective: Excess fructose consumption is hypothesized to be associated with metabolic disease risk. Actual fructose consumption levels are difficult to estimate because of the unlabeled quantity of fructose in beverages. We therefore determined through laboratory analysis the fructose content in beverages made with and without high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as an added sweetener.

Research Methods and Procedures: Sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) and fruit juice drinks that were either made with or without HFCS were analyzed in separate, independent laboratories via 3 different methods to determine sugar profiles.

Results: For SSBs, the three independent laboratory methods showed consistent and reproducible results. In SSBs made with HFCS, fructose constituted 60.6±2.7% of sugar content.In juices sweetened with HFCS, fructose accounted for 52.1±5.9% of sugar content, although in some juices made from 100% fruit, fructose concentration reached 65.35 g/L accounting for 67% of sugars.

Conclusion: Our results provide evidence of higher than expected amounts of free fructose in some beverages. Popular beverages made with HFCS have a fructose: glucose ratio of approximately 60:40, and thus contain 50% more fructose than glucose. Some pure fruit juices have twice as much fructose as glucose. These findings suggest that beverages made with HFCS and some juices have a sugar profile very different than sucrose, in which amounts of fructose and glucose are equivalent. Current dietary analyses may underestimate actual fructose consumption.

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