Campbell to cut the trans fat

Related tags Trans fats Nutrition

Campbell Soup is the latest US group planning to cut trans fatty
acids from its products following last July's decision by the Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) requiring that trans fats be labelled
from 2006.

Speaking at conference in New York this week, Campbell's chief executive Doug Conant told the press that the company was planning to eliminate trans fatty acids from its Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers by the end of the year.

Another Campbell brand, Goldfish Crisps, has already been reformulated to remove trans fats, and the new version of the crackers is just about to hit the supermarket shelves.

Trans fatty acids have been linked to a number of health problems, including heart disease and raised cholesterol levels, and are found in all animal-derived fats. They are also found in a wide range of products from meat and milk to biscuits and snacks.

Food labels in the US already carry information about saturated fats - also linked to increased cholesterol levels - but the FDA ruling means that trans fat content will also have to be labelled from 1 January 2006.

But most food manufacturers are expected to take action to eliminate trans fats wherever possible well before that deadline, recognising that consumer demand for ever-healthier products more than offsets the cost of such a changeover.

Conant said that there would certainly be a margin impact relating to the decision to eliminate trans fats, but that it would be modest and all but eliminated in the short term through more efficient production processes.

Campbell is not the first US food group to eliminate trans fats. PepsiCo was one of the first companies to voluntarily label trans fat in its Frito-Lay chips, and is already moving towards eliminating trans fats entirely from its range of products. A switch to corn oil for its Doritos, Tostitos and Cheetos snacks means that these brands are already trans fat free, according to the company.

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