Red Eye Chicago


Dunkin’ Donuts slashing trans fats in many items


Dunkin’ Donuts, the chain whose very name celebrates BOSTON a treat that’s symbolic of unhealthy eating, is trying to refresh its image by largely eliminatin­g trans fat across its menu, Homer Simpson be damned.

Dunkin’ plans to announce Monday that it has developed an alternativ­e cooking oil and reformulat­ed more than 50 menu items—doughnuts included. The Canton, Mass.-based chain says its menu will be “zero grams trans fat” by Oct. 15 across its 5,400 U.S. restaurant­s in 34 states.

About 400 locations nationwide that took part in a four-month test already have made the switch to a new blend of palm, soybean and cottonseed oils. That includes all restaurant­s in New York City and Philadelph­ia, which are forcing restaurant­s to phase out their use of artery-clogging trans fat.

The ice cream chain Baskin-Robbins, another unit of Dunkin’ Brands Inc., plans to be zero grams trans fat by Jan. 1.

Dunkin’ isn’t claiming it will become “trans fat free,” but does say any trans fat in foods including doughnuts, croissants, muffins and cookies will fall below half a gram per serving. Federal regulation­s allow food labels to say they have zero grams of trans fat, provided levels fall below the half-gram threshold.

A nutrition advocacy group welcomed Dunkin’s addition to the list of restaurant chains that recently have shifted away from trans fat. “It’s good news that they’re dropping most, if not quite all, trans fat,” said Jeff Cronin of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. “If Dunkin’ Donuts can do that, anyone can.”

But Cronin cautioned that when it comes to Dunkin’s doughnuts, “we’re still talking about a food that’s mostly white flour, sugar and fat.”

Dunkin’ isn’t positionin­g its namesake product as health food. “The goal was not to make a healthy doughnut, it was really to create a doughnut that was better,” said Joe Scafido, Dunkin’s chief creative and innovation officer. “Certainly, we did not create a healthy doughnut.”

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