How KFC Went Trans Fat Free

Business Week has an interesting article about all the R&D that went into Trans Fat Free KFC.

    Hasselo (chief food-innovation officer at KFC ) figures his 62-employee team has tested two dozen oils that do not contain trans fats, or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. They’ve also spent a third of every work week on the effort over 2

    years. Even so, they are still working on a substitute in KFC’s biscuits and other baked goods. “Every oil interacts differently with every food,” Dedrick notes. “To get everything right is not easy.”

Very cool stuff. —MEGHANN MARCO

How KFC Went Trans-Fat Free [Business Week]

[Photo: Brent and MariLynn]


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  1. missdona says:

    I went to college in Louisville (home of YUM, and KFC). I was on their “taste test” panel, where they put you in a little mock up restaurant with a plastic protected laptop and invited you to snack on their tasty treats for $8 (and lunch, of course). We evaluated look, smell, taste (flavor and saltiness) of the products.

    I can only imagine what they put the taste testers through with the trans-fat-free oil business.

  2. Dervish says:

    It can be extremely difficult to phase out trans fats, depending on the product. I do R&D on donut mix for a large food company and a good deal of our current projects deal with reducing TFA content in the mix. Plus, many of the wholesale bakeries we sell to are trying to transition to TFA-free fry shortening. Unfortunately, this often means switching back to saturated fats in the form of palm shortening (for price and fry life, I assume) which can taste and smell awful. It’s hard to make it a transparent change.