Scottish bakers feel unfairly targeted by the Food Standards Agency in Scotland (FSAS) which reports that consumers have not reduced their salt consumption in the last five years.
Scots are eating nearly 9g per day on average 50% higher than the recommended 6g per day, according to new research similar to a previous Scottish survey in 2006. The FSAS highlighted bread as a major source of salt in the diet, but said firms such as Macphie of Glenbervie had worked hard to reduce salt.
Alan Clarke, chief executive of Scottish Bakers, said craft and plant bakers in Scotland were concerned the report did not reflect the good work done to comply with the Food Standards Agency’s 2012 voluntary salt target for bread 1g of salt per 100g of final product. "Once the consumer has added butter, or a spread and a filling, the amount of salt that is consumed can be much higher than that contained within the bread itself," he said.
Macphie of Glenbervie technical director Fraser Hogg said: "Plant bakers have done a lot already to reduce salt levels and to comply with the voluntary guidelines and many bakers who use concentrates, premixes and preparations are producing products that already meet the latest FSA recommendations."
Scottish Bakers’ president Lewis MacLean, of MacLean’s Highland Bakery, added: "This report does not highlight other food categories, including takeaways, soups and sausages... as having a major impact on salt consumption levels. Since the FSA brought it to our attention, the whole industry has taken measures to reduce our salt levels."
An FSA spokeswoman said: "Bread is not necessarily high in salt, but because we eat a lot of bread, it contributes a lot of salt to our diets."