You gotta love marketers. Well, okay, maybe not love them…perhaps a begrudging respect at the sheer gumption of their actions.
The new 7 Up, which started rolling out on April 1, is made from five ingredients that the company described as all natural: carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, natural flavors and potassium citrate.
Here’s where I call “bullshit” on their claim, due in part to our favorite whipping boy, High Fructose Corn Syrup.
The USDA’s definition of “natural” is as follows:
A product containing no artificial ingredient or added color and is only minimally processed (a process which does not fundamentally alter the raw product) may be labeled natural. The label must explain the use of the term natural (such as – no added colorings or artificial ingredients; minimally processed.)
HFCS is extensively processed and does, in fact, does fundamentally alter the raw product (corn starch) used to make HFCS. The process involves changing the corn starch to glucose, and then changing the glucose to fructose. These changes cannot be made unless three separate enzymes are added to the process at three seperate points. Then, “there are two more steps involved. First is a liquid chromatography step that takes the mixture to 90 percent fructose. Finally, this is back-blended with the original mixture to yield a final concentration of about 55 percent fructoseâ€”what the industry calls high fructose corn syrup” (the entire process can be found here).
I would love to have Cadbury-Schweppes explain to me why this process does not meet the USDA’s guideline of “extensively processed”. Personally, I don’t care if they use HFCS or not. But don’t tell me that it’s a “natural” product.