Is Proctor&Gamble's fat substitute a boon to healthy nutrition or is it a dangerous additive that causes stomach distress and vitamin loss?
Nat Cooper


Proctor & Gamble introduced a food additive called Olestra in 1998. This material replaces fats in snack foods such as potato chips. The advantages claimed for Olestra are that food using this synthetic product in place of digestible fats provide less calories since the Olestra is not digested and passes through the body unchanged.

This ChemCases.Com unit looks at the body chemistry underlying this development, shows how Olestra was developed and delves into the issues of how a food product such as Olestra is tested and approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Start with basic chemical principles of food metabolism and chemistry.

The concepts on this page take us to the development of Olestra.

The next page reviews the testing and the role of the government and poses a case study for your consideration.

Some say Olestra makes you sick:
OLESTRA Henry Blackburn, M.D., N Engl J Med 1996;334:984-986 In this essay, Blackburn, a member of the FDA Working Group on Olestra and the FDA Food advisory Committee, rails against FDA approval of Olestra, the fat substitute?"

Its manufacturer defends Olestra:
"Get the facts about
brand olestra, the no-fat cooking oil with the full-fat flavor! Here you'll find the specific information you're looking for about olestra and your favorite snacks. Just click on the topic you would like to know about or type a word or phrase in the search box."

College of Science and Mathematics
Kennesaw State University
1000 Chastain Rd.
Kennesaw, GA 30114