The one thing that is probably on the mind of every craft baker at the moment is the recommendation by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to reduce salt levels in bread.
The expected reduction by 2010 is to 1.1g per 100g of the finished baked product, and not on flour weight, and by 2012 1g per 100g of the baked weight. From 8 October the Government is planning a big public awareness campaign regarding salt in all food products and while this won’t be specifically about bread, it is high on the government’s agenda as they believe that 20% of the daily salt intake of the nation is from bread.
While it is not yet legislation we as a craft industry do not want the consumer to think that we don’t care about their health. The NAMB under the direction of Anthony Kindred has produced loaves of bread with the current salt level, 2010 salt levels and the salt levels required to reach by 2012 and has had various taste trials. The results showed that it was difficult to see and taste the difference between them and these were loaves of bread tasted side by side.
I was surprised by the results. Realistically in our bakeries we have, or will, reduce salt over a period of time and reduce salt by small amounts, so that the consumer is less aware of the effect. Members of the NAMB have received suggested recipes with the recommended levels of salt and suggestions of how to achieve them. If anyone is worried or concerned about this, help and advice is available.
l Make sure you catch Anthony Kindred’s talk on salt reduction at Bakers’ Fair, on 4 October.