WASHINGTON (FNS) -- Potato chips containing the latest entry in the no-fat food market -- Olestra -- should start appearing on supermarket shelves in nine months, according to Procter & Gamble, producer of Olestra.
stools, abdominal cramping and inhibiting absorption of some vitamins and nutrients, occurrences that have made Olestra the target of criticism by some nutrition activists.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest has argued Olestra should be banned from the marketplace since it reduces the absorption of carotenoids, which are needed to repair cells and are thought by some scientists to reduce risks of cancer and heart disease.
FDA officials have rebuffed such concerns, enumerating the various tests and studies performed before Olestra was granted its seal of approval, which is limited to its use only in snack foods. Olestra proponents also argue that concerns over absorption are overblown since people aren't likely to consume mass quantities of the fat substitute.
Olestra, being marketed as "Olean," is made of six components of regular fat that are attached to sugar molecules, a formula that keeps it from being absorbed by the body. Its makers claim that products made with Olestra taste the same as their fat-containing counterparts. P&G's first Olestra-containing product to be launched will be Pringles potato chips. P&G, Cincinnati, which will use the brand name Olean for Olestra, also plans to sell the fat substitute to other companies.