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Parliamentary questions
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10 December 2014
Answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: P-008578/2014

The most widely used varieties of high fructose corn syrups (HFCS) are HFCS 55(1) and HFCS 42(2). As ingredients they may be used to replace, for example, sucrose which consists of one molecule fructose and one molecule glucose.

The Commission is aware that there is debate on how exactly the sugar and sweeteners' market will react to the abolition of quotas and of discussions on the health consequences of high intakes of fructose in diet.

In the context of the assessment of a health claim on fructose in the framework of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006(3), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) noted in its opinion(4) that:

‘Some recent short — and longer ‐term intervention studies, which compared the consumption of beverages sweetened with fructose, glucose or sucrose, have shown that high fructose intakes (25% of total energy) induce dyslipidaemia, insulin resistance and increased visceral adiposity in healthy and in hyperinsulinaemic insulin-resistant subjects(5). However, these effects are generally not observed at lower doses of fructose intake (about 40-50 g/day in place of starch or sucrose(6)).

Whether free fructose and fructose in sucrose have different metabolic effects is a matter of debate’.

The Commission will continue to follow this issue and may discuss it with Member State representatives in the High Level Group on Nutrition and Physical Activity(7) in the future.

(1)Approximately 55% fructose, 42% glucose.
(2)Approximately 42% fructose, 53% glucose.
(3)Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 of the EP and of the Council of 20.12.2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods.
(4)EFSA Journal 2011; 9(6): 2223.
(5)Reviewed in Lê and Tappy, 2006; Stanhope and Havel, 2008; Stanhope et al., 2009; Stanhope and Havel, 2010; Tappy and Lê, 2010.
(6)Reviewed in Wolever, 2006.

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