Kellogg Will Lower Snacks' Trans Fat

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Kellogg Will Lower Snacks' Trans Fat

Kellogg Co., the largest U.S. cereal maker, plans to reduce trans fatty acids linked to heart disease in most of its U.S. crackers and snacks, including Nutri-Grain bars, according to a statement by the company and a Bloomberg News report.

The foods, which will be made from more healthful soybean oil, account for about a quarter of Kellogg's U.S. sales, president David Mackay told Bloomberg News. A company statement said the new products, including Cheez-It crackers, will go on sale early next year.

Kellogg is selling cereals with less sugar and snacks with less fat as competition increases for health-conscious consumers. Competitor Kraft Foods has removed trans fats from Triscuit crackers, Chips Ahoy! cookies and other products. The Food and Drug Administration has given U.S. manufacturers until Jan. 1 to include the trans-fat content on food labels.

"When the labeling regulations go into effect, you are going to see a lot more consumer awareness and demand for foods free of trans fats," Bob Goldin, an executive vice president at Technomic, a Chicago-based food consulting company, told Bloomberg News. "Kellogg is trying to respond."

A shortage of soybean oil with low levels of linolenic acid is preventing Kellogg from reformulating its cookie lines to be free of trans fats, Mackay said. It may take as long as two years before production of low-linolenic soybean oil meets demand by food producers.
Kellogg is using Monsanto Co.'s Vistive low-linolenic soybean oil to reduce or eliminate trans fatty acids in its wholesome snacks and crackers.