Synthesized substances created to replace fat in a variety of foods. To date, the Food and Drug Administration (fda) has only approved two of these substitutes Simplesse and Leanesse. Simplesse, manufactured by NutraSweet, is composed of milk protein and egg whites. This all-natural fat substitute is very low in calories and cholesterol free. It’s used in a variety of foods including frozen dairy products, yogurt, cheese spreads and salad dressings. Leanesse, a ConAgra product, is made from oat flour (Oatrim) through a heating-and-cooling process that produces a flavorless gel that imitates the texture of fat. It’s used in foods such as frozen dinners and energy bars. Yet to receive fda approval is the much-touted Procter & Gamble product, Olestra. This no-calorie, sucrose-polyester fat substitute is a composition of sugar and fatty acids, embodied in a molecule so large that it moves right through the human system without a trace. Olestra contributes the same cooking benefits (such as crispy French fries) and flavor as fat, but without the associated risks. Although it was discovered in 1968 and has a decade-old petition filed with the fda for use (in shortening, oils and snacks), Procter & Gamble still awaits approval for this landmark food additive that could change the way America eats (or certainly the way it gains weight). See also fats and oils.