Deceptive Labeling On My Doritos



As of last night, I am now boycotting all Frito-Lay products.

When it comes to buying food, snacks particularly, I'm pretty lazy. I'll buy what appears to have the best balance between taste, health, and ease of preparation.. and when looking for something to snack on, chips are a no-brainer. I do my best to avoid trans fat/partially hydrogenated oils, so seeing a prominently displayed "0 Grams Trans Fat" badge on the bag of Cool Ranch Doritos, well, I figured I didn't even need to check the back of the bag.

Imagine my surprise when I open the bag and glance down the ingredients list to see "partially hydrogenated soybean oil"… which is a trans fat. Seems Frito-Lay is taking advantage of the labeling loophole that allows anything less than .5 grams per serving to be listed as 0 grams.

To make matters worse, they stated in a press release dated September 24, 2002 that they would be eliminating trans fat from their products:

PLANO, TX (September 24, 2002) – Frito-Lay announced today that it is taking major steps in its commitment to offering a wide variety of better-for-you snacks by eliminating trans fats from America's favorite salty snacks – Doritos, Tostitos and Cheetos – while still offering great taste. Along with the trans fat elimination, Frito-Lay will also introduce Lay's Reduced Fat chips and Cheetos Reduced Fat snacks in the coming months.

"We're taking several steps that will change the way America snacks," said Al Bru, President and Chief Executive Officer of Frito-Lay North America. "Early next year, Frito-Lay is eliminating trans fat oils from our big brands including Doritos, Tostitos and Cheetos. And the great news is that there is no compromise in taste. We will also introduce Lay's Reduced Fat chips and Cheetos Reduced Fat snacks in the coming months that offer our consumers better tasting, better-for-you snacks."

It's now 2008, and if I were to eat 24 chips (2 servings), it's possible that I would have just consumed .9 grams of poison. That's not zero, Frito-Lay.. that's more than not zero. Shame.

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2 Comments »

  1. spudart (890 comments) said,

    Thanks for letting us know about this. I'm assuming that "partially hydrogenated soybean oil" means it will have trans fat?

    April 18, 2008 @ 12:09 pm


  2. sparx (882 comments) said,

    Spud, I added "… which is a trans fat. " to the post, to lazily clarify that.

    Yes. Partially hydrogenated anything oil is a trans fat. The only benefit of which is an increased shelf-life for food at a minimal cost. The main concern with trans fats are that they have been shown to increase the risk of heart related diseases, and are also believed to contribute to: cancer, diabetes, obesity, liver dysfunction, and infertility.

    April 18, 2008 @ 12:19 pm


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