The bakery industry has called out for further research into the role of salt in bread, following reports the government wants to scrap salt reduction targets in 2012.

As reported by, a source revealed the government was looking to scrap such targets in the New Year under the Public Health Responsibility Deal (PHRD). The source also mentioned that Health Secretary Andrew Lansley was likely to follow the lead on the European Commission and focus on obesity, in particular, reducing fat and alcohol consumption.

However, a DoH spokesperson denied such claims to ditch its work with the industry on salt reduction.

Gordon Polson, director of the Federation of Bakers (FoB), told British Baker that the industry "cannot reduce salt at present beyond the 2012 targets" and that it would be a further challenge to reduce salt levels in bread.

Polson added: "Post 2012, the Department of Health (DoH) has to appreciate that further reducing salt in bread will be very, very difficult. One way of helping would be research into the role of salt in bread, which is crucial to the formation of the dough."

Changes to the PHRD are unlikely to be announced until the middle of next year, which aims to tap into the potential for businesses and other organisations to improve public health and tackle health inequalities through their influence over aspects such as food and alcohol, alongside physical activity and health in the workplace.