Food company ConAgra Foods has announced that starting in February 2006, its Orville Redenbacher’s and ACT II microwave brands are being changed so they will have zero grams of trans fat.

With new research highlighting the benefits of eating popcorn for adding whole-grain goodness to American diets, the removal of trans fats from ConAgra Foods’ microwave popcorn lines make Orville Redenbacher’s and ACT II even smarter nutritional choices for popcorn lovers, the company said. In the new 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPyramid food guide, two of the most important recommendations are for Americans to increase their intake of whole grains and reduce or eliminate trans fats in their daily diets.

Orville Redenbacher’s and ACT II together offer more than 120 different products and 30 flavour varieties –including new Organic Butter and Kettle Corn Mini-Bags in Orville Redenbacher’s Smart Pop! line. By February 2006, almost all of Orville Redenbacher’s and ACT II flavor varieties will be zero grams trans fat (those few remaining will be zero grams trans fat by the end of 2006).

“Americans can turn to popcorn as one of their favorite smart snacks, with its great taste and whole-grain goodness,” said Dr Pat Verduin, ConAgra Foods’ senior vice president, product quality and development. “Now with zero grams trans fat, Orville Redenbacher’s and ACT II microwave popcorn are smarter snacking choices than ever–convenient, fun to eat and packed full of whole-grain nutrition.”

“This announcement is part of our journey to enhance nutritional profiles across the company’s product lines,” said Verduin. “In fact, by the end of 2006 ConAgra Foods expects to eliminate or significantly reduce trans fat so that it will be at zero grams or minimized levels for the vast majority of our products.”

Previously, ConAgra Foods reformulated all of its soft margarine lines, including Fleischmann’s, Parkay and Blue Bonnet, to be zero grams trans fat.