News article

27 August 2011

Scientists called in to try to meet new salt targets

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Retailers and food manufacturers are funding research in an effort to meet challenging targets to reduce levels of salt in food. The work is being commissioned by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Food and Drink Federation (FDF).

The Government's Public Health Responsibility Deal, launched in England in March, included a commitment to reduce salt levels by another 15 per cent by the end of 2012, compared with 2010. In some cases this will only be possible if new techniques are found to help preserve and flavour food.

Retailers and manufacturers in the UK are leading the rest of the world in reducing salt levels in food, and many met the previous target on salt reduction a year early. Salt is present in food for many reasons as well as flavour, including structural and food safety roles. It is hoped that the project which is now out to tender will identify new ways to reduce salt levels.

British Retail Consortium Deputy Food Director, Andrea Martinez-Inchausti, said: “Our members have made fantastic progress reducing the levels of salt in food in recent years. In some cases we've come as far as we can without help from science. The fact retailers are choosing to spend their own money looking for new solutions shows how seriously they take their commitment to public health.

“If salt is reduced further there's a danger that products will no longer taste the way customers want them to. It's pointless to put this much effort into reducing salt as an ingredient if consumers simply add a large amount themselves. We also need to find ways of preserving food effectively so it doesn't go to waste.”

Terry Jones, Food and Drink Federation Communications Director, said: “Food manufacturers have already gone to great lengths to reduce the salt content of many of the UK's much-loved brands while keeping the great taste that consumers demand. Nevertheless with the challenging 2012 targets on the horizon, we are funding this work on behalf of our members to identify and assess technical solutions to further reduce salt in key categories.”

More information

FDF Press team
Nicki Hunt on or 020 7420 7132 -
Rebecca Wilhelm or 020 7420 7140 -
Sarah Jenkinson or 020 7420 7131 -

Notes to Editors

  1. View the full terms of reference for the project
  2. The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) is the voice of the food and drink manufacturing industry – the UK's largest manufacturing sector. For more information about FDF and the industry we represent visit:

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