Kraft Foods said it had cut salt by nine per cent in its Dairylea Lunchables kids product, meeting pressure from the UK government and campaign groups.
Kraft said the salt reduction, completed over the last year, was part of a raft of changes to Dairylea Lunchables, including cuts in both fat and saturated fat by around a third. The Dairylea brand was targeted by campaign group, Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH), last year, which claimed the brand's Light Cheese Slices contained more salt per 100g than the Atlantic Ocean.
Dairylea Cheese Slices and Dairylea Dunkers Twists remained on the Cash 'foods to avoid' list in January, despite the group praising food firms generally for their efforts to cut salt content in the last two years.
Kraft said salt in Dairylea Lunchables had been cut by 40 per cent since 2002.
It has now also overhauled the brand's formula to contain no artificial colours or flavours, and switched to wholegrain bread – more than doubling overall fibre content. The product had similar fat and salt content to a homemade sandwich, the firm claimed.
The UK government has been running a salt awareness campaign since September 2004, targeting both consumer eating habits and food manufacturers.
It came following evidence the average Briton was eating one-and-a-half times the recommended daily amount of salt – risking heart disease and other illnesses.
The Food Standards Agency has now set maximum limits for salt in different products, including processed cheese. Dairylea Light Cheese Slices already fall within the limit, figures show.