Food manufacturers are increasingly coming under pressure from consumer groups for the use of trans fatty acids, a type of fat linked to heart disease, in foods. Groups, both in Europe and in the US, are committed to seeing manufacturers tackle the issue in a bid to improve the overall health of the nations populations.
Earlier this month we reported that US fast food giant McDonalds had made the move to cook all French fries in a new oil that has 48 per cent less trans fatty acids. This week major US snack producer, Frito-Lay, followed the example by announcing it would remove trans fatty acids from its salty snacks, to include Doritos, Tostitos and Cheetos.
In a statement the company said that as from early next year, it will eliminate the hydrogenated oils and move to corn oil, a trans fatty acid-free oil, in the production of Doritos, Tostitos and Cheetos.
"We're taking several steps that will change the way America snacks," said Al Bru, president and chief executive officer of Frito-Lay North America. "Early next year, Frito-Lay is eliminating transfat oils from our big brands. We will also introduce Lay's Reduced Fat chips and Cheetos Reduced Fat snacks in the coming months that offer our consumers better-for-you snacks."
Frito-Lay North America, the convenient fun foods division of PepsiCo, manufactures and sells a variety of snack brands to include Doritos tortilla chips, Tostitos tortilla chips, Quaker Chewy granola bars, Fruit and Oatmeal bars, and Gatorade energy bars.
Arguably, the move by McDonalds and Frito-Lay to reduce trans fatty acids in the diet of the American population is, but a drop in the ocean. However, it is an encouraging sign that food manufacturers are taking the problem of obesity seriously and that, in time, we will see many others following in the foot steps of Frito-Lay and McDonalds.