Nestle Plans to Reduce Salt in Foods to Meet WHO Targets

Nestle SA, the world’s biggest food company, plans to reduce salt levels in foods including Maggi-branded instant soups and Buitoni pasta to meet goals set by the World Health Organization.

Nestle will reduce the amount of salt in hundreds of products, including ready meals, noodles, and recipe mixes, by at least 10 percent over the next three years, the Vevey, Switzerland-based company said on its website today. The decision will also affect Stouffer’s frozen food and DiGiorno pizzas, Nestle said.

The World Health Organization has a target of no more than 5 grams of salt per person per day by 2025 in order to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Nestle has been working on lowering the salt content of its foods since 2005, and has cut levels in its Stouffer’s Mac & Cheese meal in the U.S. by almost 15 percent during that period, the company said. Salt levels in Buitoni frozen pizzas in France are down by almost 20 percent.

“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,” Henri-Pierre Lenoble, manager of nutrition, health and wellness at Nestlé Food, said in the statement. “Our goal is to offer consumers products that enable them to make practical, healthy nutritional choices.”

A person with either elevated sodium levels or low potassium could be at risk of raised blood pressure which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, according to a January statement from Geneva, Switzerland-based WHO.

Nestle is working with U.S. life-sciences company Chromocell Corp to find compounds that could replace salt, it said. Nestlé recipes contained 14,043 fewer tons of salt in 2012 compared with 2005, the company said.

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