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2017 salt targets in danger of failing, warns CASH

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Gill Hyslop

By Gill Hyslop+

21-Dec-2016
Last updated on 21-Dec-2016 at 13:26 GMT2016-12-21T13:26:36Z

Just less than half of the 27 crumpet brands surveyed by CASH were found to exceed the 2017 average salt target. Pic: ©iStock/Griffin24
Just less than half of the 27 crumpet brands surveyed by CASH were found to exceed the 2017 average salt target. Pic: ©iStock/Griffin24

The caution was issued by the health watchdog after a survey revealed that a number of branded crumpets still contain a high sodium content.

The Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH), based at Queen Mary University of London, claimed it found that several brands of crumpets were even saltier than sausages.

Almost half (48%) of the 27 brands tested exceeded the 2017 average salt target of 1.13g salt per 100g, while seven products surpassed the maximum salt target for 2017 of 1.25g salt per 100g.

According to CASH, this is evident the Public Health Responsibility Deal Salt Reduction 2017 targets are not being addressed.

Companies have been asked to voluntarily pledge their commitment to the targets, but with just 12 months to go for food manufacturers and retailers to meet the government’s goal of 6g salt per person per day, CASH is calling for immediate action.

As salty as sausages

The 2017 target for powder raised morning foods (which includes crumpets) is the same target for sausages at 1.13g/100g.

Warburtons’ popular Giant Crumpets topped the surveyed list with 1.48g/100g, which, said CASH is a higher salt content than contained in three packets of ready-salted crisps.

It is doable

The original 2006 salt target for morning foods was actually increased by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in 2012, because it was believed the 0.75g/100g limit was not achievable.

However, Waitrose has smashed this misconception as it has been able to adjust the salt content in its crumpets to just 0.75g/100g, noted CASH.

Much of the salt in the crumpets comes from the raising agent such as sodium bicarbonate. But, manufacturers should consider replacing these with sodium-free baking powders, such as potassium bicarbonate, said Katharine Jenner, nutritionist and campaign director for CASH.

Crumpets with the highest amount of salt:

Product

Salt per 100g

Salt per serving

Serving size (1 crumpet / pikelet)

Warburtons Giant Crumpets

1.48g

1.55g

105g

Warburtons Crumpets

1.48g

0.81g

55g

Warburtons Newburn Bakehouse Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Milk Free Crumpets

1.43g

1g

73g

Marks and Spencer Made Without Wheat Gluten Free Crumpets

1.4g

0.7g

50g

Tesco Pikelets

1.4g

0.4g

26g

 

Crumpets with the lowest amount of salt:

Product

Salt per 100 g

Salt per serving

Serving size (1 crumpet / pikelet)

Essential Waitrose Crumpets

0.75g

0.39g

Not provided

Waitrose Deep & Delicious Buttermilk Crumpets

0.75g

0.48g

Not provided

Hovis Fluffy Crumpets

0.91g

0.52g

57g

Morrisons Crumpets

0.97g

0.49g

Not provided

Aldi The Village Bakery Crumpets

1g

0.47g

45g

 

If the 2017 target is not met, Professor Graham MacGregor, professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at Queen Mary University of London and chairman of CASH has advised a stronger tactic may be necessary.

He stated if some companies fail to achieve them, the targets ought to be regulated to ensure a level playing field.

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