High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is any of a group of corn syrups which have undergone enzymatic processing in order to increase their fructose content and are then mixed with pure corn syrup (100% glucose) to reach their final form. The typical types of HFCS are: HFCS 90 (used almost exclusively in the production of HFCS 55) which is approximately 90% fructose and 10% glucose; HFCS 55 most generally used in soft drinks which is approximately 55% fructose and 45% glucose; and HFCS 42 and used in a variety of other foods, including baked goods, which is approximately 42% fructose and 58% glucose. HFCS is generally made from transgenic corn.
The process by which HFCS is produced was first developed by Richard O. Marshall and Earl R. Kooi in 1957 and sophisticated by Japanese researchers in the 1970s. HFCS was rapidly introduced in many processed foods and soft drinks in the US over the period of about 1975–1985. In terms of sweetness, HFCS 55 is comparable to table sugar, which is a disaccharide of fructose and glucose. This makes it useful to manufacturers as a possible substitute for sucrose in soft drinks and other processed foods. HFCS 90 is sweeter than sucrose, while HFCS 42 is not as sweet as sucrose.
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