AFGC applauds the reduction in the amount of salt in Australian bread

The last four years have seen a decrease in the amount of salt in breads made by Australia’s leading food and grocery manufacturers and industry is on track to deliver on its salt reduction commitments by the end of 2013, the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) has reported.

AFGC rejected claims by a George Institute report that there has been little change in the average salt content of Australian breads over the last four years and that less than half of the breads available in supermarkets met salt reduction levels.

AFGC Chief Executive Kate Carnell said the Australian Division of World Action on Salt and Health (AWASH) study showed the number of breads meeting the 400mg/100g target set by the Food and Health Dialogue rose from 29 per cent in 2007 to 48 per cent in 2010.

“Almost half of the breads on Australian supermarket shelves now meet the sodium reduction levels agreed to by the industry, retailer and government partnership called the Food and Health Dialogue,”: Ms Carnell said.

“Coles and Goodman Fielder have signed up to the salt roundtable on bread and have plans to deliver on the agreed target."

Australia’s $102 billion food and grocery manufacturing industry has been involved in salt reduction strategies for a number of years.  “Industry is proactively working with the Food and Health Dialogue to target areas where salt can be further reduced including processed meats and simmer sauces,” Ms Carnell said.

Last Friday, the Dialogue highlighted that companies have committed to reducing sodium in a further 100 bread products by the end of 2013, which a Communiqué said offered “large public health benefits for the Australian population”.

“Industry will continue to proactively working with Government to target areas where salt can be further reduced,” Ms Carnell said.

Processed meats and sauces are the next category to be targeted for salt reduction followed by poultry products and soups, with industry collaboration to begin next year.

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