Bakers welcome report on fall in salt levels

Bakers have welcomed the news that salt levels in the diet have been falling, following the publication of the latest Department of Health (DoH) Urinary Analysis.

The National Diet and Nutrition Survey Assessment of Dietary Sodium report, found that levels for adults, aged 19- to 64 years old, stood at 8.1g in 2011, down from 9.5g in 2000/2001. However, the analysis did find that, of the 600 participants, 70% had a daily intake of salt higher than the recommended maximum limit of 6g per day.

Anthony Kindred, director at the National Association of Master Bakers, said he was very pleased to see that levels had dropped. He said it showed the work that craft bakers had done in reducing salt had made a difference, without any notable negative effect on sales of bread. "We've managed to come up with what the scientists wanted, and we haven't noticed bread sales falling as a result," he said.

Kindred confirmed there were no further targets set for salt reduction in bread, as it had been thought 2014 targets were on the horizon. "When we had the change in government, the salt reduction unit got dropped. As the 2012 target was reached, I think they were happy with that."

Gordon Polson, director Federation of Bakers, said members were also pleased the report showed "that these levels continue to decrease over time". "We're already on course to meet our 2012 targets of 0.4g of sodium per 100g."

A Premier Foods spokesperson said it had a salt reduction plan in place, including in its bread and rolls. "These products already meet 2010 salt targets, with 2012-compliant recipes due to be rolled out shortly."

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