Salt in bread in Europe: potential benefits of reduction

Authors

  • Joan Quilez,

    Corresponding author
    1. Human Nutrition Unit, School of Medicine, IISSPV, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Reus, Spain, and CIBER Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBEROBN), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain
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  • Jordi Salas-Salvado

    1. Human Nutrition Unit, School of Medicine, IISSPV, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Reus, Spain, and CIBER Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBEROBN), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain
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J Quilez, Human Nutrition Unit, School of Medicine, Universitat Rovira I Virgili, Sant Llorenç 21, 43201 Reus, Spain. E-mail: joan.quilez@urv.cat. Phone: +34-977-75-93-13. Fax: +34-977-75-93-22.

Abstract

Bread is widely considered to be the foodstuff that provides the most dietary salt to the diet. As such, it is one of the key public health targets for a salt reduction policy. In this respect, it has been shown that a reduction in the salt content of bread is possible, and an alternative approach involves partial replacement with other, mainly potassium-based salts, which also counteract the effects of sodium. This replacement should be undertaken on the basis of criteria that maintain the product's sensory profile, and it tends to be more successful in breads with more naturally flavorful taste. The present review was conducted to examine salt intake in Europe and the health problems associated with its excessive consumption; particular focus is placed on the salt content of bread and the effects of its possible reduction and/or correction. The beneficial effects of such changes are highlighted by way of a theoretical calculation in baguette-type wheat bread. European legislation in the field of nutrition and health claims allows the positive aspects of such salt reduction and replacement methods to be stated.

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