UK bakers praised for salt reduction

By Catherine Boal

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Salt Salt content Bread

Bakers have made significant progress in curbing salt content,
according to a survey of well-known supermarket and bakery bread
brands.

Herefordshire Trading Standards examined 53 different bread samples this week and discovered the average salt content was 1.2 per cent compared to an average of 1.34 per cent in November 2005.

The results of this week's Herefordshire study showed that the highest level of salt in bread today is 1.61 per cent while in 2005 the highest recorded salt content was 2.93 per cent - indicating that bakers are taking action.

Herefordshire county councillor Keith Emsall said: "There's certainly no room for complacency, but we were greatly encouraged to see a significant reduction in salt levels compared with the previous survey, which seems to indicate that bakers have listened to our advice."

Salt is a difficult ingredient for bakers to eliminate given its importance in activating yeast, enhancing flavouring and extending the shelf-life of products however the additive has been hitting the headlines as excessive consumption can be linked to heart disease and strokes.

This week is salt awareness week in the UK to highlight the health risks of including too much salt in the diet and encourage manufacturers to take action and reformulate excessively salty foods.

On Monday, health watchdog the Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) advised consumers to boycott products that contain either more than 1.25g of salt (0.5g of sodium) per 100g or more than 2.4g of salt per serving.

But the UK's Food and Drink Federation (FDF) came out in support of food manufacturers, stating: "A survey of our members conducted towards the end of 2005 found that 36 per cent of products, worth £7.4bn in sales, had a lower level of salt compared with the previous year, while £2.4bn worth of products were lower salt variants of standard lines."

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