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July 29, 2013

“Does Not Contain High Fructose Corn Syrup”

Filed under: Food/Groceries,Health,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:16 am

High fructose corn syrup is a dirty word to many shoppers. They have heard that the body doesn’t digest and absorb the fructose in this cheap sugar substitute the way ordinary sugar is metabolized. The liver is forced to convert the fructose into fat, and we get the urge to eat more.

No wonder a number of products have reformulated their brands and tout the fact that they no longer contain high fructose corn syrup.

One such product is Log Cabin syrup, which boasts this on their front label:

Log Cabin

Great, thought Bryan A., a Mouse Print* reader. Then he read the ingredients statement on the back:


Log Cabin back

“If a banner across the front trumpets ‘NO HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP’ one doesn’t expect the first ingredient to be corn syrup,” explained Bryan. We agree.

There is, however, a difference between high fructose corn syrup and regular corn syrup.

“… corn starch is broken down into individual glucose molecules, the end product is corn syrup, which is essentially 100% glucose. To make high fructose corn syrup, enzymes are added to corn syrup in order to convert some of the glucose to another simple sugar called fructose. High fructose corn syrup is ‘high’ in fructose [thus making it sweeter] compared to the pure glucose that is in corn syrup.” — Food and Drug Administration.

We asked Pinnacle Foods, the maker of Log Cabin, twice to comment on this issue, and they did not respond.

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  1. I seem to remember that Log Cabin ORIGINALLY had at least some real maple syrup in it. 2% maybe?

    This bottle can NOT be “original” since it has none.

    Another deception!

    Comment by Ken — July 29, 2013 @ 9:13 am
  2. I don’t think Pinnacle Foods needs to comment on this one. Corn syrup is not the same as High Fructose Corn Syrup. That information is not secret and I would hope more people would be willing to look it up before jumping to complain to the company. This labeling isn’t really misleading and there are much more pressing label issues.

    Besides, if your main complaint about syrup is the difference between high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup then I think you’re on the wrong track. It’s usually the ambiguous label of artificial flavor and color that gets me. That and the 26 grams of sugar per serving (usually 60mL or 1/4 cup for syrup). Whether the sugar is pure or processed that is a lot.

    Comment by Wayne R — July 29, 2013 @ 9:22 am
  3. Well said Ken. I remember when Log Cabin was 100% Maple Syrup and it came in a tin in the shape of a log cabin.

    Comment by Clarence C. — July 29, 2013 @ 9:35 am
  4. @Ken: Ahhh, but that’s where they get you. Nowhere on that label does it say “Maple Syrup”, it just says “Syrup”.

    Sadly, I noticed something similar a few months back w/ brands using the phrase “Table Syrup”. If you see that phrase, don’t expect any maple in it at all.

    Comment by Ron — July 29, 2013 @ 9:40 am
  5. Maybe that was before my time, Clarence. I suppose that would be the REAL “original” — 100% maple syrup!

    You can buy real maple syrup these days, but it does not come in the “Log Cabin” bottles!

    Comment by Ken — July 29, 2013 @ 9:49 am
  6. I agree with Wayne R on his first point. HFCS is not the same as regular corn syrup and that’s what people want to avoid. Of course pancake syrup is going to be high in sugar, and the cheaper mass market brands aren’t going to use expensive maple syrup. There are brands of ketchup (Hunt’s, I believe) and jelly (one of the Welch’s grape jelly varieties) that also prominently state on their labels that they do not use HFCS. I don’t think any of these claims are misleading. If you don’t want ANY corn syrup in your products, there are brands for you and they cost a WHOLE lot more.

    Comment by Richard P — July 29, 2013 @ 10:14 am
  7. The best rule is not to buy any product that has words you can’t pronounce (or that has more than FOUR syllables)! Why not just buy REAL maple syrup? Tastes better and is REAL food, not chemicals!

    Comment by Marva — July 29, 2013 @ 10:57 am
  8. Anyone who has shopped MAPLE syrup certainly knows that any other syrup priced under 10 bucks is not Maple syrup; price is the first clue, the label is secondary.

    Comment by Marty — July 29, 2013 @ 11:58 am
  9. Although it is soooo much better to buy the real stuff, the cost is soooo much higher.

    All the cheap brands are is one big chemical experiment that does wind up tasting close to the real thing.

    Comment by Richard Ginn — July 29, 2013 @ 12:10 pm
  10. The big outrage about high fructose corn syrup is specifically about the the high fructose part. I believe most people who don’t want HFCS will be fine with corn syrup in their food. So I don’t think Pinnacle Foods has done anything misleading here.

    (Whether or not corn syrup is actually better for you than HFCS is an entirely different issue.)

    Comment by Alan — July 29, 2013 @ 12:22 pm
  11. You shouldn’t be eating pancakes, let alone syrup, anyway.

    Comment by James — July 29, 2013 @ 7:39 pm
  12. Everyone seems concerned with the sugar, and skip the 5 preserving agents. I bet the serving size is 1-2 tbsp (cant see from the pic). It has about 2/3rds the amount of sugar in a pop.

    @James why shouldnt I eat pancakes? They are tasty. Usually 2-3 times a year I have some.

    Plus if I saw that label and flipped it over I would get a chuckle. As they switched out one sugar for a slightly different one (looks like 2, corn syrup and sugar water). What the bold print giveth away the fine print taketh 🙂

    Comment by me — July 30, 2013 @ 9:39 am

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