Welcome to the avisso column – an update on nutrition-related subjects that have an impact on public health; be it legislation, innovations in the food industry or trends on the high street. Anything that may shape or influence consumer eating habits will be discussed.
Update on salt targets – mixed efforts
Public Health England challenged all sectors of the food industry to achieve two specific salt targets over a range of food categories, one by the end of 2017 and the other by 2020. Some industry players are working to achieve this across their portfolios. Sainsbury’s, for example, have met the 2017 targets to reduce salt in their own-brand beans and tinned pasta products to a maximum of 0.56g salt per 100g for baked beans and 0.88g for tinned pasta. However, a recent survey by Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) found that some foods now have more salt in them than previously. For example, leading pesto brand, Sacla’s Classic Basil Pesto was found to contain 18% more now than in 2009. Overall, it appears there is still a lot of work to do within the industry to meet salt reduction targets.
Fake farm labels
Due to customer demand for product traceability and transparency, Wm Morrison Supermarkets will no longer sell products that use ‘fake farm’ brand names. Many supermarket brands, including Tesco’s “Boswell Farm” and Asda’s “Farm Stores”, refer to ‘fake farms’, made up for branding purposes. The Soil Association is calling for the government to introduce a mandatory method of production labelling for all meat and dairy to stop ‘fake farm’ labelling by supermarkets and to increase product traceability.
Sea Chips have recently launched salmon crisps in the UK made from salmon skin offcuts. The crisps are available in lime & chilli, salt & vinegar and sea salt flavours. The salmon skins, which would normally be thrown away, are dehydrated, fried in rapeseed oil, and then flavours are added. A 20g bag contains 124kcal and 7g protein. The founders have pledged to donate 10% of their profits to ocean conservation charities.
Picture from www.thegrocer.co.uk
High-protein ice cream launches in the UK
Dutch high-protein ice cream brand, Koupe, is making its debut in the UK. Made with whey protein and milk rather than cream, the products contain around 12-13g protein per 100g. This is significantly higher than most dairy ice creams, which usually contain between 3-4g protein per 100g. The Koupe range is available through Ocado and includes Clever Chocolate, Brilliant Banana and Smart Strawberry.
(Picture from www.koupe.com)
‘Ultra-personalised’ menu creation
Vita Mojo is a London-based restaurant that lets guests customise their meals. Customers pick their meal, then adjust the protein and calorie quantities to create a dish to suit their unique requirements. Diners can personalise a range of aspects, including portion size and the distribution of carbohydrates/protein. Dishes can also be designed to accommodate certain food allergies.
New guidelines published for early years settings
New voluntary guidelines for early years settings (such as nurseries and childminders) have been jointly developed by the Department of Health, Department of Education and Public Health England, published in a recent report. The guidelines advise on a range of aspects including menus and resources, aiming to help early years settings meet the government dietary recommendations for infants and children aged 6 months to 4 years. Weaning advice, such as information on texture, when to introduce solids and which foods to avoid, is also included. A three-week menu cycle with recipes for children, and suggestions on how these can be adapted to meet the needs of infants, can also be found in the guidelines.
The report can be accessed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/example-menus-for-early-years-settings-in-england