Anglo-Dutch Unilever and Finnish Raisio were given the go-ahead by U.S regulators to market their cholesterol-fighting spreads as proven cholesterol-cutting products for the first time. The two companies had petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to authorise a heart-disease claim for the margarine-like spreads sold under the brand names Benecol for Raisio and Take Control for Unilever. Shares in Raisio soared 55 per cent on Wednesday to E2.97 ($2.64) from E1.91 after the news was broken. Outside of Northern Europe Johnson & Johnson's McNeil unit has exclusive rights to market Benecol. Instead of stating that the product may "promote healthy cholesterol" manufacturers will now have the legal right to state on packaging that regular consumption of the products, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.