March 07, 2010
The Great Dr Pepper Experiment

So, I hear people talking about how they prefer their sodas of choice to use the sugar recipe instead of the high fructose corn syrup recipe. Given that sugar and HFCS are pretty much identical, chemically, I was curious as to whether there really is a difference.

So I set up a test.

I went to the local grocery store, and bought two otherwise-identical bottles of Dr Pepper -- one using the current formula, and the other using the 'heritage formula' that uses sugar instead of HFCS. I chose Dr Pepper because that is my poison of choice. And yes: I AM WELL AWARE THAT I SHOULDN'T BE DRINKING SODA POP AT ALL, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Pepsi was also an option to do the sugar versus HFCS taste test challenge, but Pepsi is not my poison of choice.

So. I made myself some peanut-butter toast to use as a palette reset. I asked Paulette to pour one type of Dr Pepper in one mug, and the other in another while I was out of the room, and to return the bottles to the fridge so that I couldn't be swayed by knowing which formula was in which mug.

I came back in the kitchen and began the taste test. I ate a bite of peanut butter toast, and then tried the first mug. Very bubbly. Otherwise, about what I'd expect from Dr Pepper. I had another bite of peanut butter toast, and then tried the second mug.

Hmmm. A very subtle difference. Very subtle. A little (only a weeee bit) fruitier, perhaps. More like... cough syrup.


I held out the second mug. "This is the sugar version."


"The difference is almost too subtle to notice. But given a choice between the two, I prefer the HFCS recipe."

So, there you have it.

If you slipped me sugar instead of the HFCS version, I probably wouldn't notice or care. But when paying close attention, when it comes to the taste of Dr Pepper, sugar is not an advantage.

This public service message is brought to you by the find folks at Rousselle labs, who remind you that all soda is bad for you, whether you bow to your Big Corn overlords or fall sway to the great "Sugar Is Better" lie.

Posted by on March 07, 2010 05:40 PM in the following Department(s): Journey of a Thousand Pounds , Tidbits


I was SO with you until the peanut butter toast. YUCK. Actually, you're the 3rd or 4th person to relay a preference for the HFCS over sugar. Me, totally addicted to diet(UBER-chemical) soda. I can't say anything to anyone. Although, I should not be drinking it, I know.

Thanks for taking one for the team.

Posted by: Suzanne Wynnell on March 8, 2010 5:42 AM

My google alert for HFCS picked up your post.
Unfortunately for your liver, there is a difference between HFCS, specifically HFCS-55,
and sugar. HFCS-55 is 55%fructose:45% glucose.
This may appear to be close to the 50:50
fructose:glucose ratio found in sucrose (table
sugar), until you do the math.
55%:45% = 55/45 = 1.22. This means that in
every HFCS-55 sweetened DR. Pepper there is, compared to glucose, 22% more fructose. What does this mean in everyday terms? Drinking
five HFCS-55 sweetened Dr. Peppers is equivalent to drinking 4 1/4 SUCROSE sweetened Dr. P's plus
0.75 pure FRUCTOSE sweetened beverage. You've
probably done your research on the long term health hazards of ingesting too much fructose (from both sucrose and HFCS). Fructose can only be metabolized by the liver and we are now dealing with illnesses, type II diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in both children and adults. I would ditch all HFCS especially HFCS-55. To your health.

Posted by: on March 8, 2010 8:54 AM

acutuly pro tasters use soda crakers (non salted) to cleans the pallet


Posted by: Tony on March 15, 2010 11:58 AM

Hey there,
Just thinking about you and Paulette, and all those in our writing classes.
And then I read this post . . . hmm, since my daugthers and I have discovered that we can't digest any corn products including corn syrup, and corn derived products like dextrose, maltodestrin, and sucralose (both sugar and corn), I have to say that I disagree. Sugar is better. Agave nectar rocks when you want to make your own marshmallows, and . . . honey is always better in tea.
So, if I want to eat sweets (that's a definite), I have to go with the "sugar is better" crowd because if I don't - rashes, vomiting, and other unmentionable symptoms.
Corn syrup and corn products suck . . . at least from my perspective.

Posted by: Tyrean Martinson on March 21, 2010 5:53 PM

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On Mar 21, Tyrean Martinson said:
"Hey there, Just thinking about you and Paule..." on entry: The Great Dr Pepper Experiment.

On Mar 15, Tony said:
"acutuly pro tasters use soda crakers (non sal..." on entry: The Great Dr Pepper Experiment.

On Mar 8, said:
"My google alert for HFCS picked up your post...." on entry: The Great Dr Pepper Experiment.

On Mar 8, Suzanne Wynnell said:
"I was SO with you until the peanut butter toa..." on entry: The Great Dr Pepper Experiment.

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