Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever has unveiled a scheme to reduce the salt content of over 22,000 products across its global food portfolio.

“We already had the Nutritional Enhancement Programme and were looking at ways to reduce salt and offer healthier products. But this was done on a product-by-product basis and the process varied across different markets. This [new scheme] marks a departure from previous policy because we are now taking a holistic approach,” a spokesperson for the company told just-food.

The company said that the reduction is targeting a total dietary intake of 6 grams of salt per day by the end of 2010 and 5 grams per day by 2015. 

In calculating the level of sodium acceptable in any given product, Unilever will take into account the amount people would generally consume on any given day.

“Some products will have more of a reduction than others because we are looking very closely at how consumers use products,” the spokesperson explained.

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For example, soup contributes 10% of salt to an average daily diet. Therefore, in order to meet the target for 2010, Unilever would reduce the amount of salt in soup to 360mg per 100g serving.

“A handful of products used as ingredients for cooking might not require salt reductions, for example, our soy sauce product,” the spokesperson revealed.