NEWS WATCH

The U.S. Department of Agriculture last week said it has developed a fat substitute that won't induce cramps or diarrhea -- as some consumers claim of olestra, Procter & Gamble's fat substitute. USDA's fat replacer, Z-Trim, is made from food-crop by-products. In tests, Z-Trim has replaced fat in such foods as brownies and cheese spreads; it also may replace some flour used in baked goods. The USDA

The U.S. Department of Agriculture last week said it has developed a fat substitute that won't induce cramps or diarrhea -- as some consumers claim of olestra, Procter & Gamble's fat substitute. USDA's fat replacer, Z-Trim, is made from food-crop by-products. In tests, Z-Trim has replaced fat in such foods as brownies and cheese spreads; it also may replace some flour used in baked goods. The USDA has applied for a Z-Trim patent, and plans to license it privately.

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