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Dutch food industry searching for alternatives for salt

Consumption far too high

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

AMSTERDAM - The Dutch food industry is busily reviewing substitutes for salt in processed foods. Recent studies suggest that consumers take in far too much salt. About 80 percent of the salt is eaten through food such as meat, bread and cheese.

University of Wageningen specialist Frans Kok has been closely involved in drawing up the new guidelines for Goede Voeding (Good Food).

According to Kok, every year thousands of people die of heart attacks because they have too much salt in their system. The human body only needs up to two grams of salt a day.

On average, however, people take in as much as eleven grams a day. According to Kok, this amount should be no more than six grams a day.

However, the food industry relies on salt as an agent for flavour. Salt is even more of a crucial tastemaker in snacks, deep-frozen pizzas and ready-to-eat meals.

As a rule, the food industry does needs to be convinced of the need to reduce salt consumption. Research is ongoing into the use of other types of salt as well as herbs in food products.