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Local craft bakers improving health - salt reduction project
Project Code: N09027
Food Standards Agency
Addison, A ;
Since 2003 the FSA has had in place a programme of work to help UK consumers reduce their salt intakes to no more than 6g a day for adults, and less for children. Bread is a major contributor to dietary salt and there has been an active approach over several years to reduce the salt level in bread with major bread manufacturers. Craft bakers, while a minor source of bread on the national scale, are nevertheless an important or, indeed, the principal source of bread for some consumers. This sector, which is represented by a very large number of small businesses, has not had a co-ordinated approach to salt reduction and has cited traditional ingredients and methods, the diversity of products and the technical challenges of salt reduction as barriers to change.
The project has shown that the salt level in oven bottom and tinned craft bakery bread can be reduced in a predictable and controllable way to meet the 2010 and 2012 targets and below without encountering difficulties in making and handling the dough and without perceptible effects on the shape and appearance of the final product. Minor changes to proof time may be beneficial as salt level is reduced. For optimum quality, irrespective of salt level, it was noted that the dough for oven bottom bread is improved if water level is reduced slightly with reference to the dough for tinned bread. These findings have been verified, not only under test bakery conditions, but also with a number of commercial craft bakers operating in different locations with different recipes and different bread-making processes. To achieve bread of consistent quality, careful attention to the detail of weighing, mixing, handling and baking is required, and the move to a lower salt recipe is easier if these disciplines are maintained.
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