In the face of mounting concerns surrounding health risks associated with the consumption of fatty and salty snacks, UK snack producers are lining up to announce how they plan to make their snack food ranges healthier in 2006.

United Biscuits (UB) said in a statement released last week: “To respond to the growing demand amongst consumers for healthier food, UB is committed to a strong innovation programme that offers new, healthier options for consumers.

“UB selects healthy, natural ingredients for its new product development, including wholegrains, oats and cereals, fruit and nuts. It also updates recipes of well loved brands to respond to consumer trends, for example, cutting salt and saturated fat, removing Trans Fatty Acids (TFAs) and putting in more naturally healthy ingredients like fruit and cereals.”

The company said that it plans to reduce saturated fats in some of its products by up to 50%, while in 2006 total salt will be reduced by 30% since 2004.

The announcement comes as a number of other food companies, including Heinz and Kellogg’s, have already cut the salt content of their products by as much as 25%.

Walkers, the UK’s biggest crisp producer, also intends to cut saturated fats in its products. A spokesperson for Walkers’ parent company PepsiCo told just-food that a statement, to be released on Friday (3 February), will confirm that the company intends to cut saturated fats by up to 70%.