Fat Substitute Began Life 21 Years Ago / as an Accident

By Peter Coy, Ap | THE JOURNAL RECORD, September 8, 1987 | Go to article overview

Fat Substitute Began Life 21 Years Ago / as an Accident


Peter Coy, Ap, THE JOURNAL RECORD


NEW YORK - Fred Mattson was trying to invent a high-calorie food for premature babies in the mid-1960s when he stumbled onto the opposite - a fat-like substance with no calories and no cholesterol.

``It looked like a fat, tasted like a fat, felt like a fat and everything,'' Mattson said recently.

``We were very enthusiastic about it, but mainly because it fitted into the scientific research we were working on. One is always cautious about saying, `Gosh, this is going to make a million dollars for the company.'''

Investors in the stock market weren't so cautious in May when Procter & Gamble Co. announced the Food and Drug Administration had agreed to review the safety of the substance.

Procter & Gamble's stock market valuation, already propped up by high hopes for olestra, jumped another 10 percent in two days, or $1.4 billion.

Olestra - known to scientists as sucrose polyester - is unlikely to reach the market for at least a year or two. But when it does, it could change the way America eats.

Unlike products that taste kind of like sugar, or kind of like salt, olestra tastes exactly like fat.

More than 2,000 people have sampled food prepared with olestra in blind taste tests, and statistically speaking, they could not tell the difference, according to Bob Greene, associate director of food product development.

Olestra could take the place of fat in cookies, cake mixes, butter, ice cream, potato chips, peanut butter, ground beef and nearly any other food laden with fat, Greene said.

The only exception would be something like a well-marbled steak, where nodules of fat are actually visible.

Chemically, olestra is a molecule made of a backbone of sucrose with six to eight fatty acids attached. The body does not recognize it as a fat so it is not absorbed.

Olestra even seems to eliminate some cholesterol already in the body, according to a study at the University of Cincinnati.

Procter & Gamble coined the name olestra (from oil and esters) because sucrose polyester made people think of sugar and leisure suits. It is asking the FDA to recognize the word as a generic term.

Most diets fail because people cannot tolerate life without sugar, salt and fat. Olestra won't help with the sugar and salt, but it will give that rich, greasy, flavorful satisfaction that people now get from fat.

Even skeptics are not ready to dismiss it.

``It may turn out to be a boon. It may allow companies to cut way back on the use of coconut oil or beef fat, which are highly saturated fats,'' said Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Fat Substitute Began Life 21 Years Ago / as an Accident
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.