The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced the approval of Olean® (also known as olestra) in prepackaged ready-to-heat popcorn (such as microwave popcorn).
Olestra can replace the added fat and calories from fat in fried foods. Snack foods made with olestra have been tremendously popular with consumers and products include Frito-Lay’s WOW!™ potato and tortilla chips (Lay’s®, Ruffles® and Doritos®), Nabisco’s Fat-Free Ritz® and Fat-Free Wheat Thins® crackers, and P&G’s Fat-Free Pringles®.
Unlike other available fat replacers, olestra can withstand the high temperatures of frying. It gives foods the rich taste and creamy texture of ordinary fat because it is made primarily from fat. Olestra is not digested; it passes through the digestive tract but is not absorbed into the body. As a result, it has no fat and no calories.