United Biscuits to stamp out trans fats

By Catherine Boal

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Trans fats, United biscuits, Trans fat, Hydrogenation, Nutrition

European biscuits and snack manufacturer United Biscuits has become
the latest bakery company to eradicate harmful trans fats from its
products, tying in with the industry drive towards healthier
production methods.

In future, the McVities, Jacobs and KP ranges will all be made without partially hydrogenated vegetable oil - the substance which causes trans fats to form.

The process of bubbling hydrogen through fat can create trans fats which scientists believe are responsible for clogging arteries and raising LDL 'bad' cholesterol which can cause heart disease.

In recent months, the bakery industry has become increasingly mindful of consumer concerns over the level of hydrogenated fats found in biscuits, crisps and other baked snacks and several companies responded by pledging to remove the harmful substances.

Now United Biscuits (UB) will alter the oil they use for crisp brands such as McCoys, Skips and Hula Hoops to ensure a healthier snack.

Head of strategic projects at UB, Alice Cadman said: "We're aware of consumer concerns about TFAs (trans fatty acids) and have been working hard for several years to make reductions in our range of well loved snacks."

The move comes on the back of other efforts at UB to address consumer-driven nutritional trends by reducing salt and saturated fats in many products.

According to the company it has cut sodium by 13 per cent across its crisps and snacks range and brands such as Hula Hoops and Skips - which dominate the UK children's crisps market - now contain 50 per cent less fat.

United Biscuits was one of the first snack manufacturers to look at fat-reducing methods when it removed hydrogenated vegetable oil from its biscuit dough in 2004.

But other food companies soon followed suit - last year global cereal giant, Kelloggs, announced that it was reducing hydrogenated fats in a range of its products and UK bakery ingredients producer, BakeMark UK, also promised to eliminate all harmful fats from over 400 of its manufactured products by the end of 2005.

And consumer concern over the issue is such that last week UK supermarket giants Sainsbury's, Tesco and Marks and Spencer vowed to remove all own-brand products containing hydrogenated vegetable oil.

Related topics: KP Snacks, Ingredients

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