Scottish bakery products could become healthier, after the Scottish Government announced a further two-year reformulation programme.

In partnership with the Scottish Food and Drink Federation (SFDF), the Scottish Government is to run the programme, specially designed for small businesses, to cut levels of salt, fat and sugar in everyday products.

It will benefit from £172k of funding until September 2014, which will cover all associated costs, including salaries, publicity, print materials and events.

A number of bakers, including Maclean’s Highland Bakery and Stuarts of Buckhaven, have already taken part in the programme, and have seen percentages slashed with the help of Chris Peace, technical industry manager at SFDF.

Maclean’s achieved a 50% salt reduction in its steak pie recipe, while Stuarts lowered the salt content of its morning rolls by 14%. Tods of Orkney succeeded in attaining a 20% reduction in salt, and 5% reduction in sugar in its oatcakes.

The reformulation programme is a free-of-charge service, which provides hands-on technical support to SMEs in Scotland.

Michael Matheson, minister for public health, said: “It is really encouraging to see small businesses making their products healthier, crucially without impacting on sales.

“Simple updates to recipes or processes can make all the difference, often without much impact on taste. And every little improvement in the product can help meet customer preferences for healthier shopping baskets.”