Will Fake Fat Yield Plump Profits?

The race is on to develop a low-cholesterol food substitute

Imagine chowing down cheesecake, feasting on French fries and pigging out on potato chips with little worry about calories. This fat-filled fantasy is still just an overeater's dream, but it moved closer to reality this month when Procter & Gamble dispatched a truck from its Cincinnati headquarters to the Food and Drug Administration in Washington. Its carefully guarded cargo: 30,000 pages of documents detailing tests of a new cholesterol- and calorie- free fat substitute that P&G calls olestra. The shipment included a petition asking the FDA to consider approving the substance's use in deep- fried foods, oils, shortenings and salty snacks.

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