March 07, 2010
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.
Copyright (c)1998 - 2010 by Allan Rousselle. All rights reserved, all wrongs reversed, all reservations righted, all right, already.
Click here to send me mail.