Temme EHM, Milder IEJ, Westenbrink S, Toxopeus IB, van den Bogaard CHM, van Raaij JMA
RIVM Report 2015-0034
The salt content of bread was 21% lower in 2014 compared with 2011. In addition, the salt content of cheese reduced with circa 11 percent, although the difference was not statistically significant. In meat cold cuts, the salt content is comparable in the 2014 compared with 2011 data. The pledge for salt reduction in meat cold cuts, however, is valid until June of 2015. The salt content of vegetables and pulses in glass and tins was significantly lower in 2014 compared with 2011. With current consumption patterns in the Netherlands, lower salt in bread probably leads to lower daily salt intake, as bread is a major contributor. For saturated fat and sugar, we observed or, no major differences between food compositions in 2014 compared with 2011.
These results are shown in this RIVM report on sodium, saturated fat and sugar content of foods ordered by the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. In January 2014, the minister of Health and representatives of the food industry and the hospitality and catering sector signed an 'Agreement for Improvement of Food Composition', 'Akkoord Verbetering Productsamenstelling'. In this agreement, the parties agree to gradually lowering the contents of salt, (saturated) fat, and calories (from sugar and fat) in foods up to 2020.
In our research, food composition data of several sources were collected until 1 July 2014. Manufacturers and food sectors supplied food composition data on a voluntary basis. The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) shared data on sodium and saturated fatty acid contents of foods from their independent monitoring system. The data provided are compared with sodium, saturated fat and mono-and disaccharide contents available from the Dutch Food Composition Database (NEVO) version 2011 and version 2013. We monitored the (changes in) food composition before in 2012 using this method. At that time, the 'Monitor Product Reformulation' 'Herformuleringsmonitor' was aimed at salt (sodium) and saturated fatty acid contents of foods. Now, we add sugar (mono-and disaccharides) contents of foods at the request of the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS).