Crystalline fructose

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Crystalline fructose

Crystalline fructose is a processed sweetener derived from corn that is almost entirely fructose. It can also be made from sucrose (table sugar) by splitting the fructose and glucose molecules. Crystalline fructose consists of at least 98% pure fructose, any remainder being water and trace minerals. It is used as a sweetener in the likes of beverages and yogurts, where it substitutes for high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and table sugar. Crystalline fructose is estimated to be about 20 percent sweeter than table sugar,[1] and 5% sweeter than HFCS.[2]


Crystalline fructose is created from cornstarch, but other starches such as rice and wheat can be used.[3] In this method, corn is first milled to produce cornstarch, then processed to yield corn syrup which is almost entirely glucose. The glucose obtained is reacted with a series of enzymes to convert a majority of the glucose into fructose. The fructose is then allowed to crystallize out, and is finally dried and milled to produce crystalline fructose.

Health effects[edit]

There are studies for and against the health benefits of crystalline fructose.[2][unreliable medical source?]

Because fructose is a component of many foods, it is generally considered safe. As of January 2010, however, the FDA has not classified crystalline fructose as generally recognized as safe (GRAS).[4]

Because crystalline fructose is sweeter than the sugars it replaces, less sugar can be used to produce a desired level of sweetness, resulting in a roughly 5-percent reduction in the amount of calories.[2] Fructose is also an isomer of glucose, carrying the same energetic value when burned.

Any positive health benefit of crystalline fructose consumption is fueled primarily by the fact that fructose does have the same value as glucose when burned. However, fructose is processed by the body differently; fructose's causal relationship to hyperlipidemia, fatty liver disease, cirrhosis, coronary arterial disease and obesity remain a concern for public health analysts.[5][unreliable medical source?]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Nutrition Fact Sheet: Facts About Fructose" (PDF). American Dietetic Association. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  2. ^ a b c Conis, Elena (2009-02-09). "Is crystalline fructose a better choice of sweetener?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  3. ^ "Facts about Fructose". Calorie Control Council. 2006. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  4. ^ "Database of Select Committee on GRAS Substances (SCOGS) Reviews". Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  5. ^ Taubes, Gary (2011-04-13). "Is sugar toxic?". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-04-18. 

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