British versions of some leading international breakfast cereals have more sugar and salt in them than versions sold in other countries.

A survey conducted by the Daily Mail newspaper revealed that the UK recipe for Kellogg’s Corn Flakes contains about 10% more sugar and almost 25% more salt than the recipe sold in the US. The British version contains 2.4 grams of salt per 100g of Corn Flakes, as opposed to just 1.8g per 100g of cereal in the US version.

The British version of popular ‘good for you’ breakfast cereal Special K, also from Kellogg’s, has 17g of sugar per 100g of cereal, higher than in the US and Australian versions and the same as the Spanish recipe. At 2.1g per 100g of cereal, the UK version also has more salt than those sold in other markets.

The UK Food Standards Agency describes upwards of 10g of sugar per 100g of foodstuff as “a lot”, while 2g per 100g is “a little”. Of the cereals analysed by the Daily Mail, only Kellogg’s Corn Flakes has less than 10g of sugar per 100g of cereal. Worst offender was Alpen, which has 21.9g of sugar – 1.9g more than its US counterpart.

Salt is linked to high blood pressure, which means increased risk of the biggest killers, strokes and heart disease. The food industry is working to cut salt levels, but processors can only move as fast as customers’ tastes change. For an investigative feature on this issue, members click here.