It has been a busy 12 months since the industry announced its plans to reduce salt in bread and we are already making significant strides in meeting our targets.
The Federation has for many years taken a positive and proactive approach to salt reduction. Salt levels in bread have been reduced by about 25% over the past 20 years and, as recently as 2005, the industry implemented a further 5% reduction. The Federation continues to be committed to the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) objective of improving the overall make-up of people’s diets while also assessing the impact of any changes on consumer acceptance of the taste of bread and technical feasibility.
The Federation entered into talks with the FSA to establish what was an acceptable target for salt reduction by 2010, given our long record of success. These discussions resulted in an agreed target of 0.43g sodium (a sales weighted average, per 100 grammes) by 2010. The Federation will continue to work with the FSA to monitor progress towards this target, in particular the review in 2008.
Although we are happy to be working with the FSA on this issue, the reduction of salt in bread has been challenging as salt plays such a critical role in dough formation. It is recognised that any change that may diminish the flavour would be counter-productive to the objective of improving diets as it’s acknowledged that bread plays a major role in a healthy, balanced diet.