US food maker Campbell Soup is to remove harmful trans fats from its Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers.

A new line of trans fat-free Goldfish Crisps are to be launched in March, while the existing Goldfish range will become free of trans fats by September, reported Reuters. The Goldfish line has sales of around US$300m in North America.

Trans fats, formed when vegetable oils are hydrogenated, have been linked to heart disease, and by 2006 all US food makers will be required to label products that contain trans fats.

Jay Gould, president of Pepperidge Farm, said Campbell had been working on the changes for two years.

“Frankly, this is something that came more from the consumer than it did from the FDA,” Gould was quoted by Reuters as saying.