Nestlé has pledged to accelerate the reduction of salt across all its food brands worldwide to support a World Health Organization salt target of no more than 5g of salt per person, per day, by 2025.
The decision will further reduce salt levels across Nestlé’s hundreds of savoury products including soups, noodles, recipe mixes, frozen and chilled meals and pizzas, in popular brands including Maggi, Stouffer’s, DiGiorno and Buitoni.
In addition, all culinary innovations launched will be specially formulated with an even lower level of sodium, the company said.
“We have made great strides in reducing the salt content of our food products in recent years and we want to build on that progress,” said Henri-Pierre Lenoble, Nutrition, Health and Wellness manager within Nestlé Food.
“Our goal is to offer consumers products that enable them to make practical, healthy nutritional choices, every day,” he added.
The announcement by the world’s leading health, nutrition and wellness company follows a Washington conference on dietary salt consumption organised by the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), the regional Americas Office of the World Health Organization.
Nestlé was the first company in the food industry to introduce comprehensive policies for the systematic reduction of specific nutrients considered to be detrimental to health when consumed in excess.
Since 2005, the company has worked to progressively and continuously reduce the salt in its foods and make them healthier for consumers.
By 2012, Nestlé recipes contained 14,043 fewer tons of salt than in 2005. The company is committed to reducing the amount of salt in its high sodium products – such as ready meals, soups, noodles, recipe mixes and pizzas – by at least 10% in the next three years.
In the US, for example, salt levels in US brand Stouffer’s Mac&Cheese meal have been reduced by almost 15% since 2005. In the UK, a 20-40% reduction was achieved in the Maggi SoJuicy seasoning range in 2012. In Brazil, salt levels in Maggi noodles have been cut by a quarter and, in France, salt levels in Buitoni frozen pizzas have been cut by almost 20% since 2005.
Nestlé’s gradual approach to reducing salt levels helps consumers gradually adapt their taste for salt, making them more likely to continue to make healthier choices in the future.
Nestlé chefs are constantly looking for different ways of enhancing food with only moderate amounts of salt, for example using spice and herbs to heighten flavours.
Nestlé is also at the cutting edge of nutritional research into salt alternatives, collaborating with US life sciences company Chromocell Corporation to identify compounds with similar or equally pleasing tastes that could potentially be used instead of salt in a range of foods.
With brands such as Maggi worldwide, Nestlé also provides consumers with healthy cooking education programmes, helping them to create tasty and balanced meals every day with more vegetables, less salt and less fat.