Saint-Hubert, a French cheese and dairy producer, has introduced an all-natural gourmet product, Le Slim Cow, that the company says can substitute for butter and margarine, with about half the calories and fat.

The product contains 40 calories per 10-gram serving, about half the calories of regular butter or margine, and 6.8 milligrams of cholesterol, about one-fourth the content of regular butter."Le Slim Cow uses a new emulsion technology to create an 80 percent dairy product that tastes exactly like butter," says Eric Bongrain, associate director of the international division, Saint-Hubert Dairy Products.

The product combines buttermilk (59 percent), milk fat (20.9 percent) and vegetable oils (19.1 percent), and has low sodium and high calcium, protein and essential fatty acids, the company says.

Le Slim Cow, which is imported from France, is available in gourmet and specialty food shops.