Food industry tackles excess salt

Following on from the report released recently by The Australian Division of World Action on Salt and Health the Australian Food and Grocery Council says the food industry in Australia is continuing to review product formulations and processing technologies to reduce the use of salt.

Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) Chief Executive Kate Carnell said that it was well known that most Australians have too much salt in their diet, putting them at risk from high blood pressure, stroke and cardiovascular disease.

“We also know that most of the salt intake comes from many of our every day foods so we have been working with the Australian Division of World Action on Salt and Health (AWASH) and the National Heart Foundation to reduce the amount of salt in processed foods.

“This is an ongoing process as companies must ensure that their products remain appealing to consumers in terms of taste and convenience,” she said.

Ms Carnell said that the industry has made excellent progress in recent years.

For example:

  • Smiths Original Potato Chips have 17 per cent less salt than four years ago
  • Unilever Australia has reduced the salt content of more than 155 Continental products (including Cup-a-soup, Pasta & Sauce, Rices, Recipe Mixes and Stocks) by 30% on average
  • The Sanitarium Health Food Company has reformulated several products to reduce the sodium content – Vegie Delights Not Burgers was reduced by 49%.

Ms Carnell said that it was also important to make people aware of the need to limit their salt intake and to give them good information to help them understand how much salt is in the food they eat.

The food industry introduced Daily Intake Guide Labelling to show how much energy, fat, sugar and salt (sodium) is in a product and what that means in terms of daily requirements.

“By checking the thumbnail label for sodium, shoppers can get a good idea of just how much salt they will be eating and can decide how it fits in with their daily dietary needs,” Ms Carnell said.

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