I was reading an article in Forbes (yes some hippies read Forbes) written by Matthew Herper about Olestra that really cracked me up. I can remember when the fake fat first came out on the market. Every dieter was in snack Utopia. They were buying up heaps of the fat free chips and downing them in a single food frenzy. Shortly after, the Olean chip eaters would find themselves seated on the white thrown for hours with a stack of toilet paper by their side. Cough Cough…I know because I was one of them. Subsequently, sales dropped drastically as the news of the unpleasant side effects rolled in.
Well NOW the P&G scientists have found a new use for the fat substitute. Are you ready for this? I hope your sitting down. A form of Olestra is back as a lubricant that keeps PVC from sticking to molds and being used to make eco-friendly paints. The revolutionary product line is called Sefose and according to P&G “provides a cost competitive sustainable alternative to petrochemicals in various applications.” The benefits of Sefrose in paints include “low viscosity, fast dry, No VOCs, eliminate/reduce solvents, excellent film properties, and compatibility with coating resins.” In lubricants Sefrose shows to have “good anti-wear properties and a high viscosity index. “
If that information did not make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, maybe this little tidbit will. P&G is also pursuing the use of the olestra-like chemicals in laundry products and hair spray. YES, I said hairspray! Nevertheless, there is no need to worry. Even though the FDA received over 20,000 consumer complaints, they reported serious side effects were greatly exaggerated from a 3,000 patient study and you can still purchase certain snack products containing the calorie-free fat.