All Lay’s lite potato chip products and Pringles’ fat-free potato chips are produced using olestra. Olestra, also known by its brand name Olean, was selected as a component in these snacks since it is a fat alternative that contains no fat, calories, or cholesterol.
Lay’s and Pringles are two notable brands that use olestra in their potato chips. Lay’s Light KC Masterpiece BBQ, Doritos Light Nacho Cheese, Ruffles Light Original, Ruffles Light Cheddar & Sour Cream, and Tostitos Light Restaurant Style include olestra as an ingredient. The olestra-made Pringles crisps include Fat-Free Bar-B-Q and Fat-Free Sour Cream and Onion varieties.
Olestra was discovered by accident in 1968 by Procter & Gamble researchers F. Mattson and R. Volpenhein. The Food and Drug Administration approved Olestra for use as a fat and oil replacement in prepackaged, ready-to-eat snacks in 1996. Frito Lay initially utilised it for potato chips under the WOW brand. The Food and Drug Administration asserted that olestra “met the safety requirement for food additives, reasonable certainty of no damage.”
In the late 1990s, Olestra’s adverse effects, which include diarrhoea, cramps, and gas, contributed to its decline in popularity. It was also revealed that consuming this synthetic fat can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb vitamins from the healthy carotenoids found in fruits and vegetables. Despite the side-effect warnings, olestra-containing goods are nevertheless available in supermarket stores.