The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is deciding whether to fund scientic reasearch into the technicalities of reducing salt in bread.

The FSA has already met with stakeholders, including the Fede-ration of Bakers, the UK Association of Manufacturers of Bakers’ Yeast and the Association of Bakery Ingredient Manufacturers, over the last couple of months, to discuss the technical problems associated with reducing salt in plant bread, particularly those made with higher-protein flours. It said in a statement: "The Agency is assessing whether it could support specific research which would help overcome these barriers."

Experiments would be likely to take place before salt guidelines are reviewed by the FSA in 2008, a spokeswoman said.

The FSA added that data from the UK’s National Diet and Nutrition Survey showed that bread was one of the largest contributors to salt intakes in the UK at around 17% of intakes, probably due to the high quantity and regularity of consumption. But salt reductions of around one-third had already been achieved in some breads since the 1980s, it said.