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Dutch bread with less salt

Photo: Sonneveld

Bread and grain products are one of the main sources of salt in people’s diet. Over a period of several years, the Dutch company Sonneveld has gradually reduced the salt in its bread mixes for bakeries. 

Now the company has set an ambitious goal of further reducing the salt content in its bread mixes, from 2.2% to 1.3%, without compromising the products’ taste or baking properties. This means that the salt content of the baked bread will gradually drop from 1.3% to around 0.8%. In 2014, Sonneveld developed a new technology designed to ensure a better taste experience with less salt.

Salt consumption in many countries is higher than the recommended daily intake of 5 grams per person. A high salt intake can increase the risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and obesity. Bread is one of the main sources of salt.

Sonneveld has been a pioneer in adapting to the new Dutch legislation of January 2013, which restricts the quantity of salt in bread from 1.8 to 1.5%. The result is a 16% reduction in the salt quantity in all bread mixes.

"We have worked systematically to reduce the salt in our bread mixes in recent years. It was important to us to adjust the amount of salt well in advance of the introduction of the Dutch legislation on 1 January 2013," says Maarten Boonstra, Sonneveld Director of Quality and Maintenance.

Higher fibre content

In addition to working actively to reduce the quantity of salt in the products, Sonneveld wants to increase the quantity of fibre in its products. Fibre works on the bowel function, and may help to prevent constipation. Fibre has also proved to have a counteracting effect on type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.

"Wholemeal bread is an important source of fibre. The more whole grain, bran and wholemeal flour products contain, the higher their fibre content. In 2012, Sonneveld launched the Vitason product range, in which the fibre content of several of the bread mixes was increased by over 50%. We are now looking into the possibility of developing more products with a higher fibre content," says Boonstra.