Traders worth their salt

A NEW survey has found that a number of Northumberland traders are on course to be worth their salt.

The county council’s Trading Standards Service has taken part in a nationwide study, co-ordinated by the Food Standards Agency, which is aimed at monitoring the levels of salt in bread.

As well as being an important source of nutrients and fibre in our diets, bread is also the biggest single contributor of salt in our diets – on average it accounts for 20 per cent of our daily salt intake.

Excessive consumption of salt is damaging to health as it contributes to raising blood pressure.

Twelve samples of bread were analysed by the Northumberland team.

The Food Standards Agency sets a voluntary target of 1.1g of salt per 100g of product for 2010. Further targets have been published for 2012, which would hope to reduce salt in bread to 1g per 100g.

Seven met the target for 2010 and encouragingly, six of the samples met the target for 2012.

The lowest analysed amount of salt was 0.79g per 100g and the highest was found to be 1.48g per 100g.

Jimmy Power, Trading Standards Manager for Northumberland County Council, said: “The Trading Standards Service continues to work with local manufacturers in a bid to assist in the reduction of salt in staple foods such as bread, which in turn will hopefully lead to an overall decrease in the levels of salt consumed by the average person.

“As salt is a large contributor to high blood pressure, it is hoped that even this small change may make a difference overall.”