Australian manufacturers are looking to reduce salt

Australian manufacturers are looking to reduce salt

A number of Australian grocery retailers and manufacturers have agreed to reduced the amount of salt and saturated fat in their products as part of a partnership with the country's government.

The Food and Health Dialogue, a partnership between industry and government, said today (8 April) that salt and saturated fat targets have now been set for some 85% of leading brand simmer sauces and 95% of processed meats.

Manufacturers including General Mills, Associated British Foods, Goodman Fielder, Mars Inc, Nestle and Unilever, as well as retailers Woolworths Ltd, Coles and Aldi, have agreed to reduce the salt content of a number of their sauces.

The companies have agreed to reduce the amount of salt in pasta sauces, Indian-style sauces and other simmer sauces that exceed 420 milligrams of sodium per 100 grams by 15% before the end of 2014. They have also agreed to reduce the sodium content of Asian-style simmer sauces by 15% in products that exceed 680 milligrams of sodium per 100g.

Processed meats manufacturers including Bertocchi, D'Orsogna, Fibrisol Service Australia and ABF arm George Weston Foods - and retailers Woolworths, Coles and Aldi - have agreed to reduce the sodium content in processed meats.

They have committed to reducing the sodium content of bacon and ham/cured meat products to 1090 milligrams/100g. The manufacturers and retailers have pledged to cut the sodium content of emulsified luncheon meats to 830 milligrams/100g, and reduce the saturated fat content of cooked/smoked sausages and luncheon meats (excluding salamis) by 10% if they exceed 6.5g of saturated fat per 100g.

"While salt is an important part of our diets, eating too much can be harmful and that's why industry has been involved in salt reduction strategies for a number of years - industry is also committed to reducing saturated fats in manufactured foods," said Australian Food and Grocery Council chief executive Kate Carnell.

"This is a triple win - for consumers who will find it easier to eat healthily, for Government with population health improvements and for manufacturers with new product innovations to meet consumer needs," said Carnell.