Too much salt in the finger food. The analyzes conducted by Action on Salt - the group of experts who have been fighting for the reformulation of food for years - show that one product in 4 contains very high levels of sodium. A dangerous situation, according to the organization, which calls for nutritional information on these foods even when supplied in bars.
Too much salt in the finger food, tests on 555 products
The group of experts based at Queen Mary University of London analyzed the nutritional profile of 555 finger food, or 'picnic food', sold in Great Britain. Olives, savory pastries, savory pies, ready-to-eat foods and others snack (Ready-To-Eat food). Also in the vegetarian and vegan versions. The result is alarming, given the serious damage to health associated with excessive salt consumption. Cardiovascular diseases and heart attacks, the leading causes of premature mortality in the world, but also tumors e diabetes.
One out of 4 samples it contains very high amounts of salt, he complains Action on Salt. These are levels that would be marked in red on a front-of-pack synthetic nutrition label (front-of-pack food labeling, FOPL), such as the Nutri score. However, another problem, the test also shows that one in 3 snacks does not have this labeling. An information vacuum that prevents consumers from knowingly choosing what to buy. Not surprisingly, 40% of snack unlabeled analyzed by the UK group is excessively salty.
Too much salt, missed goals
A concentration of salt equal to 5% - double the sea water - distinguishes some types of olives. More generally, half of the products analyzed by Action on Salt it contains far more salt than that envisaged in the British ministerial recommendations defined in 2014 in view of 2017. A real failure, notes the organization, which calls on health institutions to put more pressure on the food industry.
New reduction targets of salt in food will be defined in 2020, as provided for in the Green paper on prevention published in July 2019 by the UK Department of Health. In the meantime, Action on Salt calls for mandatory nutrition labeling for all food products, including picnics.
Too much salt in the finger food. Vegans at the bar
Vegan consumers need to pay special attention to salt. In fact, the test demonstrates how most of the alternative products to meat, positively distinguish themselves in terms of saturated fats, with higher sodium levels. An example above all, the Fry 'vegan sausage' roll, 1,8 g of salt per 100 grams.
The excesses of sodium in vegan foods they had already been extensively documented by GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade) in 2017, through a market survey of over 130 vegan and vegetarian ready-to-eat foods sold in Italy. With the paradox that some products have a salt / sodium content so high as to reach the recommended daily threshold in a single portion or a little more.
Professional journalist since January 1995, he has worked for newspapers (Il Messaggero, Paese Sera, La Stampa) and periodicals (NumeroUno, Il Salvagente). She is the author of journalistic surveys on food, she has published the book "Reading labels to know what we eat".