Coca-Cola's Talking WatersIf you have visited Fearless Fat Loss before, you may have noticed that I have written a few articles regarding high fructose corn syrup, or HFCS, as it is more commonly known. Not only have I been writing about it, but I have also been talking about it.

In one of my college courses (Note the date of this article is 2007), I was spreading the word about the dangers of HFCS and how it creates a fatty liver, and even cirrhosis of the liver.

My professor showed me the ingredients of his bottled drink (a type of “health” drink, I don’t recall the brand) and asked me if crystalline fructose was the same as high fructose corn syrup. This was the first I had heard of this ingredient so I was very intrigued and set out to do some research on it.

What I have learned is that crystalline fructose “is produced by allowing the fructose to crystallize from a fructose-enriched corn syrup.” This information is from the sugar producers themselves, at This explanation is very straightforward: it is made from corn syrup, and not only corn syrup, but “fructose enriched” corn syrup. Would another name for that perhaps be high fructose corn syrup?

To quote one of my previous posts:

HFCS can be manufactured to either contain equal amounts of fructose and glucose, or up to 80 percent fructose and 20 percent glucose.” Fructose and glucose are metabolized differently in the body. “Glucose is metabolized in every cell in the body, however all fructose must be metabolized in the liver.

I have learned that Crystalline Fructose contains 99.5% minimum of fructose assay, which is an even higher percentage of fructose than what makes up HFCS. Another ingredient of crystalline fructose is arsenic. I don’t know about you, but I don’t care what the amount is (in this case the chemical specs state 1 mg/kg maximum), I don’t want to be ingesting arsenic.

Additional chemical compounds that make up crystalline fructose are heavy metals, lead, and chloride. I obtained this information from in their PDF document that I used to research this post.

Even if you do not drill down into the chemical composition of crystalline fructose, the bullet points of the document clearly show that this sweetener provides the same outcome and is used in the same way as HFCS is:

  • It is an ingredient in the same processed foods that HFCS is: sodas, other beverages (sadly, it is used in “health drinks” like the one my college professor had), breads, low-calorie dressings (read the labels of low-fat salad dressings), cereals, frozen foods, protein bars (supposed to be healthy!), and basically all processed foods.
  • It extends the shelf life of food.
  • It provides intense sweetness so only a small amount needs to be used (economical).
  • It is made from corn (again, economical).
  • It prevents baked goods and “nutrition” bars from drying out.

Of course, the health dangers of crystalline fructose are not outlined, and they will be the same as high fructose corny syrup since this is simply another form of fructose corn syrup according to the data (you can draw your own conclusions, just read the docs linked in this article), however crystalline fructose includes an even higher percentage of fructose than HFCS does.

Remember that fructose must be processed completely in the liver, and when a diet includes a large amount of it (if you eat mainly processed foods), then it creates a fatty liver, and even cirrhosis.

I firmly believe in public education on these topics. Even if you have heard of these ingredients, you may be surprised to know how wide spread their use is, especially since these corn syrups are used in breads. How many ready-made sandwich shops are using bread made with crystalline fructose or high fructose corn syrup? I do not know these figures currently, however I would bet that most of these breads do contain fructose corn syrups, since most of the breads that you can buy in the grocery store contain them.

In my humble opinion, it sounds like the food industry has come up with a new name for high fructose corn syrup in crystalline fructose while increasing the level of fructose in it.

Yes, it is unlikely that these corn syrups will disappear any time soon because they are very cheap for the processed food manufacturers. As long as you are knowledgeable about what you are eating, the more conscious you will become in your decisions concerning what you put into your body. We all deserve to live with the highest level of health possible, and clearly fructose corn syrup sweeteners will not be found along the path to outstanding health!

If you found this information helpful, you may also be interested in 23 “Health” Drinks that Contain Crystalline Fructose, or this post on high fructose corn syrup.

Photo Credit: elycefeliz