OBJECTIVE: Excess fructose consumption is hypothesized to be associated with risk for metabolic disease. Actual fructose consumption levels are difficult to estimate because of the unlabeled quantity of fructose inbeverages. The aims of this study were threefold: 1) re-examine the fructose content in previously tested beveragesusing two additional assay methods capable of detecting other sugars, especially maltose, 2) compare data across all methods to determine the actual free fructose-to-glucose ratio in beverages made either with or without high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and 3) expand the analysis to determine fructose content in commonly consumed juice products. METHODS: Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and fruit juice drinks that were either made with or without HFCS were analyzed in separate, independent laboratories via three different methods to determine sugar profiles. RESULTS: For SSBs, the three independent laboratory methods showed consistent and reproducible results. In SSBs made with HFCS, fructose constituted 60.6% ± 2.7% of sugar content. In juices sweetened with HFCS, fructose accounted for 52.1% ± 5.9% of sugar content, although in some juices made from 100% fruit, fructose concentration reached 65.35 g/L accounting for 67% of sugars. CONCLUSION: Our results provide evidence of higher than expected amounts of free fructose in some beverages. Popular beverages made with HFCS have a fructose-to-glucose ratio of approximately 60:40, and thus contain 50% more fructose than glucose. Some pure fruit juices have twice as much fructose as glucose. These findings suggest that beverages made with HFCS and some juices have a sugar profile very different than sucrose, in which amounts of fructose and glucose are equivalent. Current dietary analyses may underestimate actual fructose consumption.
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