April 21, 2009

Unilever To Reduce Salt Content In Their Foods

Unilever announced on Tuesday that it would reduce the amount of salt in nearly all its 22,000 food products, calling itself the first company to establish comprehensive salt reduction targets to improve public health.

"Unilever's aim is to reduce the salt content of its products by the end of 2010 to help people reach the daily recommended dietary intake of six grams (of) salt per person," the Anglo-Dutch food company said in a statement.

A further reduction set for 2015 would lower the target to five grams, a goal in line with World Health Organization guidelines.

"Unilever is the first food company that sets worldwide goals for salt reduction across its entire product range," Unilever said.

Gaby Vreeken, the company's vice president of marketing, called the new plan "ambitious", but said the targets could and should be met to avert cardiovascular disease and deaths blamed on high salt intake.

"The challenge lies in achieving these results without compromising on the flavor, quality and shelf life of our products," Vreeken told AFP.

Unilever said it would use aromatic herbs and other spices.

Nearly three-quarters of total salt intake comes from processed foods like meat, sauces, bread, cheese and soups.

"Consumers will be more likely to adapt their taste preference to lower levels of salt if the food industry as a whole reduces salt levels," Unilever said.


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