Kellogg Australia reduces sodium levels ahead of schedule

Kellogg Australia has met its 2010 commitment to reduce sodium levels in its Corn Flakes and Rice Bubbles by 20 per cent.

The cereal giant made the announcement this week.

Kellogg’s was one of the leading Australian manufacturers to commit to lowering sodium levels, as part of the Reformulation Working Group of the Federal Government’s Food and Health Dialogue in March 2010.

New targets were outlined in the campaign, as the negative health impacts of a high-sodium diet became well-known.

Last month the National Heart Foundation of Australia found that if everyone reduced their salt intake by 3 grams per day, 6 000 lives could be saved every year.

As part of the Health Dialogue, for all ready-to-eat breakfast cereals that exceeded 400 milligrams of sodium per 100 grams, Kellogg’s, Sanitarium, Cereal Partners Worldwide, Woolworths, Coles and ALDI would reduce the sodium content of products by 15 per cent over four years.

Kellogg Australia’s 20 per cent reduction comes eight months ahead of schedule, with plans for the reformulated cereal expected to be rolled out by August this year.

Kellogg’s also confirmed it was on schedule to deliver more salt reduction, as promised in its Food and Health Dialogue commitment.

It will reduce sodium by 15 per cent in all Kellogg’s cereals that exceed 400 milligrams of sodium per 100 grams by the end of 2013.

In September, a report in the Australian Medical Journal (AMJ) showed more improvements could be made to salt levels in breads, because voluntary reduction across Australia and New Zealand was not enough. 

“While there has been some improvement in sodium levels in New Zealand, and while the companies actively engaged in salt reduction efforts are to be congratulated, our data also highlight the need for continued action,” the report said.

Better results are likely to be achieved if the governments of Australia and New Zealand take committed leadership of these programs.”

However, a Deakin University study released in March found that a “reduced salt” label on a food product will make a consumer experience a reduced level of taste, even if it is not in fact lower in salt.

Participants were asked  to taste soups with the same salt content, but it labelled some as “reduced salt.”

Those labelled as low sodium actually had the same salt content as the other soups, but participants reported that they found them less tasty.

 The study found that while it is clear that salt levels need to be reduced, better initiatives are needed to encourage lower intakes.

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