Consumer watchdog Which? said its recent consumer taste test of wholemeal bread showed it was possible to cut salt levels in bread and still deliver good flavour and texture.

In research carried out by Which? Magazine, 187 testers tasted 561 slices of branded and supermarket own-label wholemeal bread. Hovis and Kingsmill came out on top, scoring top marks for taste and texture, followed by Warburtons and M&S Wise Buys loaf. Senior researcher Shefalee Loth said the M&S loaf, which had a salt content of 0.9g per 100g (lower than the FSA’s 2012 target of 1g per 100g), "proved that it was technically possible to develop bread that has reduced salt levels, which was acceptable to consumers". "There was no correlation between the salt values per 100g and the performance of the breads in our taste test," she added.

Salt levels for Hovis and Kings-mill stood at 1.05g, and Warbur-tons at 1.08g. The bread with the highest salt content was Asda Square Cut Medium Sliced, with 1.1g of salt per 100g. It scored three out of a possible five stars for taste and four for texture.

Which? has campaigned for a reduction in salt levels in food to meet the FSA’s revised 2012 salt targets. Earlier this year, Which? chief policy adviser Sue Davies said: "The food industry must commit to meeting these new targets if it is serious about combating diet-related disease."