CASH conducted a survey of 27 crumpets and pikelets sold by major UK supermarkets and produced a ‘league table’ of those with the highest and lowest levels of salt per 100g (see below).
Two Warburtons products topped the table at 1.48g of salt per 100g, while Waitrose and Hovis were among businesses whose products had the lowest levels.
The campaigners pointed out that Warburtons Giant Crumpets – as advertised on TV by The Muppets – contain 1.55g of salt per crumpet, more salt than in three packets of ready salted crisps (A 32.5g bag of Walkers Ready Salted crisps contains 0.46g salt).
CASH said the crumpet survey was evidence that the government’s Public Health Responsibility Deal Salt Reduction 2017 targets are not being addressed, with 13 of the crumpets in the study exceeding the 2017 salt target of 1.13g per 100g. The group called on retailers and manufacturers to take immediate action.
Crumpets often contain added salt and a raising agent (such as baking powder or sodium bicarbonate) that both contain sodium, said CASH. The campaigners added that alternatives to sodium bicarbonate, either ammonium carbonate or potassium bicarbonate, made it “relatively easy” to reduce the sodium content of crumpets.
Public health goal
“It’s shocking that certain crumpets still contain more salt than three bags of ready salted crisps,” said CASH campaign director Katharine Jenner. “It’s imperative that retailers, food manufacturers and the out-of-home catering sector work much harder to help us achieve the public health goal of consuming no more than 6g salt per person per day.
“If manufacturers can’t just stop adding salt to their recipes, they can try sodium-free baking powders in baked goods.”
In response to the study, Warburtons told British Baker it had invested “significantly” in technology and innovation to reduce salt levels by 25% in recent years.
The baker said it was continuing to look for opportunities to further reduce overall levels of salt across its product range by using baking powder alternatives, such as potassium bicarbonate, adding this had yet to be approved by government.
“Consumers can find all nutritional information on pack and we are signed up to the government’s voluntary traffic light labelling scheme for which all of our crumpets are rated amber,” Warburtons stated.
Crumpets with highest salt per 100g
Crumpets with lowest salt per 100g