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Thursday, January 25, 2007 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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New Crisco slims down to no grams of trans fat

The Associated Press

CLEVELAND — After 95 years in America's pantries, Crisco is getting a new formula that nearly eliminates artery-clogging trans fats.

"The performance is the same for those tried and true family recipes that people have come to rely on Crisco for," said Maribeth Badertscher, a spokeswoman for J.M. Smucker Co., which makes Crisco.

Doctors say trans fats — listed on food labels as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil — can raise bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol, increasing the risk of heart disease.

Smucker's move comes as an increasing number of food makers have been lowering or eliminating trans fats from products. In December, New York became the first U.S. city to ban trans fats at restaurants.

Crisco's new formula uses less partially hydrogenated cottonseed and soybean oils and more fully hydrogenated cottonseed oil, which contains no trans fat.

Crisco still has a small amount of artificial trans fat, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allows any product with less than 0.5 grams trans fat per serving to list zero grams trans fat in its nutrition facts.

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