Dear Editor,

I wholeheartedly agree with you that answers on salt in bread-making are needed and I look forward to them being found in a manner which satisfies all interested parties.

However, I feel I must comment on the last paragraph in your recent Viewpoint (5 June, 2009) and correct the small misconception that you have regarding the manufacture of bread with less salt in the Chorleywood Bread Process. It is not the Chorleywood Bread Process that "cannot cope with low salt levels", it is the ’processing’ of dough that cannot cope with lower salt levels. This potential problem applies to all bread-making processes, even those used by in-store and craft bakeries. The plant baking industry, which mostly uses the Chorleywood Bread Process, has a particular problem in that it is the scale and speed of production that create issues requiring a potential change in the dough processing equipment. If the in-store or craft bakery had to produce 5,000 loaves an hour for 24 hours, then it would not be very long before they were crying out for new equipment to cope with the changes in dough quality.

So that my letter is not seen as a ’blind’ defence of the plant baker I would like readers to note that as a trained and City & Guilds qualified baker, I work with all bread types and processes and all sizes of bakeries. Similarly, I am not blindly opposing reductions in salt intake; I never add discretionary salt and have not used salt in home cooking for the last 20 years.

My greatest concern is to find a sensible solution for salt reduction that ensures that consumers continue to buy and enjoy eating bread - whatever process is used to make it!

Stanley P. Cauvain, Director and VP, R&D activities, BakeTran