Portugal to set mandatory maximum salt levels in bread
By 1 January 2019, 100 g of bread must contain no more than 1.3 g of salt, falling to 1.2 g salt by January 2020, 1.1 g by January 2021 and 1 g salt per 100 g of bread by January 2022.
According to government data, bread and toast are the biggest contributors to the Portuguese populationâs salt intake.
The draft lawââ will cover all types of bread produced or marketed in Portugal, irrespective of the country in which they were made.
Specialty breads that contain added meat preparations and sausage-meat are not bound by the maximum levels.
The new rules come as part of Portugalâs National Health Plan, which aims to reduce the average amount of salt in "main foodstuffsâ" with high levels of salt by 10 %.
According to data from the countryâs latest National Food Survey, carried out between 2015 and 2016, the Portuguese populati on has an average daily salt intake of 7.3 g. This is around 50% higher than that recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Just over 65% of women and 85.9% of men have a sodium intake above the recommended amount.
The draft regulation reads: âExcessive salt intake by the population is one of the greatest public health risks in Portugal and is linked to the development of a range of chronic diseases, in particular cardiovascular diseases, which are currently the leading cause of death in Portugal."â
It adds: âThe formulations for bread developed in Portugal, which have a salt content lower than the maximum currently permitted under the legislation in force, demonstrate that it is possible to carry out a reduction progressively, without affecting consumption and the food safety of the product.ââ
The law enforces and expands a voluntary commitment signed in October last year by the Portuguese Directorate-General of Hea lth and food industry trade groups from the bakery and pastry sectors in certain public institutions such as schools.
It also builds on a recent raft of measures to curb the countryâs rising obesity rates. A tax on sugar-sweetened beveragesâ âcame into force in January this year while the government also recently announced a tax on salty snacksâ.âSource: Google News Portugal | Netizen 24 Portugal