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Olestra – Fat Substitute

Washington State University’s Barry Swanson has 10 years of experience in research on fat substitutes such as olestra, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration Wednesday.

Dr. Swanson’s work includes basic research and testing of Procter & Gamble’s “Olean.” Potato chips, tortilla chips, crackers and extruded cheese puffs containing “Olean” may be available in supermarkets within a year.

In 1990, Dr. Swanson received Nalley’s Fine Foods Researcher of the Year Award for his work on these products. Nally’s holds a patent on one product developed at WSU. It is based on glucose and fatty acid. Olestra is based on sucrose and fatty acid. Dr. Swanson says the product containing glucose would be less expensive to manufacture than one containing sucrose. Dr. Swanson’s research includes use of the zero-calorie oil in ice cream and cheese. FDA has not yet approved use of olestra in these types of products.

Reporters may reach Dr. Swanson at 509/335-3793 during office hours or at home, 208/882-0461 evenings or weekends. If you reach an answering machine at the office, leave a message. Dr. Swanson will check his messages frequently during the day.

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