Chalmers Bakery has adjusted some of the recipes for its bestselling products to make them healthier as part of a Scottish Food and Drink Federation (SFDF) reformulation programme.

The company, which has 12 shops in Aberdeen, has achieved salt and fat reduction for its buttery, pie shells and puff pastry recipes, as well as sugar reduction for the shortbread base recipe, delivering an overall calorie reduction. A new vegetable pie, consisting of one portion of the recommended 5-a-day, has also been created to introduce a healthier pie option alongside traditional scotch pies.

Chalmers Bakery received “hands on” practical advice from Karolina Papalexi, a 4th year nutrition student from Robert Gordon University (RGU) who completed a three-month internship with the company.


Pamela Chalmers, a director at Chalmers Bakery, said: “We are always looking at opportunities to improve the healthiness of our recipes for customers without losing the taste and consistency of our much loved products. Having support from Karolina has enabled us to achieve significant fat, sugar and salt reductions across a range of recipes and we are pleased to play our part in the efforts to make products healthier for Scottish consumers.”

Dr Colette Backwell, director at SFDF, added: “Many of the UK’s largest manufacturers have reformulated to great effect in recent years, making progress in areas such as salt and saturated fat reduction and the elimination of artificial trans fats. But this tool is not just the reserve of the larger players, with 37 SME producers having already benefited from the SFDF Reformulation Programme. I hope that their achievements will inspire others.”

A new Mediterranean vegetable pie from Chalmers contains 68% less fat, 71% less saturated fat and 50% less salt than a traditional scotch pie - and was recently awarded the Commitment to Healthy Eating Award at the Grampian Food Forum Innovation Awards 2014.

Additional reformulation results include:

  • The buttery, Chalmer’s bestselling product, now contains 10% less salt and 21% less fat;
  • The round shortbread base which is used for Empire biscuits now contains 17% less sugar and a reduced calorie content;
  • The pie shells used for meat pies now contain 56% less salt and 30% less fat;
  • The puff pastry recipe which is used for sausage rolls now contains 17% less salt and 17% less fat.

Following successful customer trials and taste tests, the reformulated products are now being rolled-out to all Chalmer’s shops and via wholesale.