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Food companies seek better fat

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Big U.S. food companies are going separate ways to meet a January 2006 deadline for replacing oils with trans fatty acids.

Last year the Food and Drug Administration ruled that by January 2006 all packaged food products have to list on their nutrition labels the amount of trans fatty acids they contain, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.

The FDA's ruling pressures food companies to replace oils with trans fatty acids before the deadline because no one wants to advertise another ingredient implicated in heart disease.

Frito-Lay moved to corn oil for its snack foods last year but that is costing the company $30 million to $40 million a year extra in oil costs.

Pepperidge Farm is switching to trans-fat-free sunflower oil, canola oil and un-hydrogenated soybean oil.

Agricultural products giant Archer Daniels Midland is pushing an engineered oil that mixes a fully hydrogenated, solid soybean oil -- which has a neutral effect on heart health -- with a liquid oil that has health benefits.

Yet another alternative is genetically engineered soybean plants that would create oils with fatty acid profiles more favorable for health effects and cooking.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International


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