'It's a special formula added to the vanilla cream that makes it the perfect shade of white.'
'Titanium dioxide. DuPont patented it as a way of whitening papers, plastics, paints, and yes, Oreo cream.'
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says the best-selling cookie just celebrated its 102nd birthday March 6th, and Nabisco, the maker of Oreos, has been using titanium dioxide in its cookie cream for years.
But now, a federal jury has convicted two American businessmen of stealing and selling the method for making that whitening powder.
Bloomberg says Walter Liew and ex-Dupont engineer Robert Maegerle were found guilty of trade secret theft, economic espionage and witness tampering.
The Verge reports Liew sold the secret titanium dioxide formula to a Chinese company, which had been trying to get its hands on the formula for years and is in the process a building a plant to produce the whitening powder. The company paid Liew $20 million for the formula.
Both men face a minimum of 15 years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.