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UK Food Chain Unites to Uncover Salt Reduction Solutions

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UK Food Chain Unites to Uncover Salt Reduction Solutions

UK Food Chain Unites to Uncover Salt Reduction Solutions
December 20
10:20 2011
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The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) in the UK and the British Retail Consortium (BRC) have partnered with Leatherhead Food Research to fund and deliver a comprehensive report on salt reduction methods in food production. UK food manufacturers and retailers already lead the rest of the world in reducing salt levels in food. This research project, which will begin this month, will take stock of industry’s reformulation achievements to date and help industry take its next steps.


FDF and BRC’s partnership with Leatherhead Food Research, coupled with the institution’s decision to co-fund the research, demonstrate a food chain-wide commitment to increase consumer choice and maximize its use of reformulation as a tool to improve public health, where possible. The report, to be launched in mid-2012, will be a free resource and its findings are expected to support food manufacturers world-wide.


“While food manufacturers have already invested heavily and made great strides in salt reformulation, this partnership demonstrates our industry’s keenness to find solutions to continue this good work,” remarks Terry Jones, Food and Drink Federation communications director. “Leatherhead Food Research’s salt reduction expertise made them the natural choice to work with on this project.”


Andrew Opie.

British Retail Consortium food director, Andrew Opie, says: “Our members have shown their commitment to give consumers healthier choices by consistently meeting salt targets. They are backing this up with funding for credible, independent research which will make a valuable contribution to our understanding of where further salt reduction is practicable.”


Dr Paul Berryman, chief executive of Leatherhead Food Research, comments: “Salt reduction sounds easy, but it isn’t! We are particularly worried about the effects on food safety and shelf life. Salt is a traditional preservative, so we will be checking for unintended consequences, like unwanted bacterial growth. Consumers must be happy with the taste too, or they will just add in table salt. It’s a complex issue.”


The UK 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.

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