Crisco cuts the trans fat

Parent company says it spent years on research to come up with shortening products that now contain no trans fats.

NEW YORK ( -- It's the same Crisco, but now with zero trans fat.

Marking the latest move in the fight against trans fat, the J.M. Smucker Co. (down $0.16 to $47.54, Charts), which owns the Crisco brand, said Thursday its entire line of shortening products will now contain zero grams of trans fat per serving.

"Today, you can officially take Crisco shortening off the trans fat list," Maribeth Badertscher, a spokesperson for Crisco, said in a prepared statement.

The company, which said it spent years developing the new product, claims that the new products do not sacrifice the Crisco taste and "performance" that consumers are used to.

Actually, Crisco shortening will still have a slight amount of trans fat, but less than 0.5 gram per serving, so it can claim zero trans fats under Food and Drug Administration guidelines.

The company said that, as of Thursday's announcement, its entire line of products, which include oils and sprays, will contain zero grams of trans fat per serving.

The FDA defines trans fat as made when companies add hydrogen to their cooking oil in a bid to make their food taste better and extend its shelf life.

The regulatory agency says the consumption of trans fats raises the amount of "bad" cholesterol in a person's body.

The fight against trans fat gained momentum last year as a number of U.S. restaurant chains including Starbucks (down $0.54 to $34.25, Charts) and Wendy's (up $0.13 to $33.21, Charts) announced they were removing trans fats from their menus.

And last month, New York City officials voted to ban the use of artificial trans fats at all food service establishments in a move aimed at improving public health.

McDonald's eyes sale of Boston Market  Top of page