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Study reveals UK plant-based cheese has highest salt content

Study reveals UK plant-based cheese has highest salt content Saputo Food and Beverage Business

In a new study released by UK research group Action on Salt, it was found that plant-based cheese contains more salt than its conventional equivalents in the UK food and beverage industry. The study assessed the salt content of over 600 cheeses across ten retailers in the country.

On average, dairy-free cheeses in the UK contained approximately 1.91g of salt per 100g, with Cheddar cheese closely following at around 1.78g per 100g. Tesco’s Plant Chef Alternative to Mature Cheese was found to have 2.5g of salt per 100g.

One of the highest average quantities of salt in plant-based cheeses was found in products from Saputo, the producer of Cathedral City and the plant-based brand Sheese, averaging at 1.83g per 100g.

Retailers’ own-label products had a lower salt content on average compared to those made by food manufacturers, with the former containing 1.7g/100g and the latter 1.82g/100g.

The study also revealed that the average salt content of Cheddar and similar products has increased since 2012, from 1.68g per 100g to 1.70g per 100g in 2023. While most products assessed did not breach the salt targets set by the Department of Health and Social Care, Action on Salt argued that the targets are too lenient and called for stronger enforcement.

Commenting on the findings, Sonia Pombo from Action on Salt emphasized the importance of reducing salt in food products to improve public health. She called for more stringent salt reduction targets beyond 2024.

Dr. Judith Bryans, CEO of Dairy UK, responded to the study by highlighting the essential roles of salt in cheese production and its relatively low impact on overall sodium intake. She emphasized that cheese manufacturers cannot compromise product safety by exceeding current technical limits in cheese making.

As the food and beverage industry continues to evolve, it is crucial for businesses to prioritize consumer health and well-being by adhering to salt reduction guidelines and implementing sustainable practices in food production.

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