Salt levels still too high in bread
SALT targets set by Australian bread manufacturers need to be far more stringent, says the Australian Division of World Action on Salt and Health (AWASH).
The calls follow a report by Sydney’s George Institute for Global Health and AWASH that slated the levels of sodium in Australian bread products.
The report found little change in the average salt content of breads from 2007 to 2010, which remained at 434-436 mg/100 g.
Bakers Delight was highlighted for having average sodium levels in their products that “stand out as being far above the others”.
The report comes as bread manufacturers committed to reduce the salt content of more than 100 bread products to 400 mg/100 g by the end of 2013.
The move was part of the Federal Government’s Food and Health Dialogue, said a spokesperson for Catherine King, Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing.
Elizabeth Dunford, a research officer at AWASH, said their findings showed the need for more stringent targets, especially considering some manufacturers had already achieved the targets.
“The rest of the industry therefore should be able to reduce it to that level – there is no reason technically that they shouldn’t be able to do it right now.”
Kendra Teasdale, corporate communications manager for Bakers Delight, said the company was working with AWASH to reduce sodium levels, especially in its higher sodium products.
In the last 12 months it had reduced sodium by 15% in its sourdough and soy and linseed ranges, she said.
Salt linked to gastric cancer risk
SALT intake is an important dietary risk factor for gastric cancer incidence, Portuguese researchers say.
A study of 422 gastric cancer cases, compared to 649 community controls, found a two times greater risk of gastric cancer among those in the highest tertile of salt exposure, compared to the lowest tertile.
The association remained similar despite Helicobacter pylori infection and virulence, smoking, tumour site or histological type.
Brit J Cancer, online