Spreading the word about salt reduction in food

23 Feb 2012 12:04:58.767


East Midlands food manufacturers are being invited to discover more about how they could reduce the amount of salt in their products.

They are also being given the chance to take part in ground-breaking salt-reduction research, which is being pioneered by researchers at The University of Nottingham and supported by the Food and Drink iNet.

The iNet is running an event at the University’s Food and Biofuel Innovation Centre at Sutton Bonington, near Nottingham, which will turn the spotlight on some of the latest innovations in how to manage salt use in food manufacturing, whilst retaining eating quality.

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Salt summit

The session is being held on Wednesday 29 February from 2pm to 6pm and is specifically aimed at small and medium-sized companies. It comes amid calls by NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) for an acceleration of the reduction in salt intake in the population.

There is a strong link between high salt intake and high blood pressure, and the food industry has successfully reduced the amount of salt in many processed products. NICE is aiming for a maximum intake of 6g per day for adults by 2015 and 3g daily by 2025.

The Food and Drink iNet is now one of the key contributors of two pieces of research at The University of Nottingham which are looking at ways of cutting down on salt use in some foods.

Cutting edge research

The first is focusing on how salt crystals could be developed to get across the saliva barrier faster. This would enable less salt to be used in food products, but with the same salt perception by the consumer. Details on this research can be found here.

The second piece of research centres on developing physically modified hydrocolloids, so that they can thicken food products, whilst retaining the great flavour characteristics associated with foods like soups, stocks and gravy granules.

Both projects could have major implications for the food industry in the East Midlands and beyond, as well as the nation’s long-term health.

“Reducing salt use is a key industry issue, and the Food and Drink iNet has helped to fund a number of different research projects that are looking at overcoming the challenges,” said Food and Drink iNet director Richard Worrall. “The event on February 29th will be the chance for SMEs to find out about the very latest research and case studies that demonstrate success to date. There will also be the chance for some companies to work with a University of Nottingham researcher on solving salt reduction issues.”

Small or medium-sized companies that would like to attend the event on 29 February, which is free, should call 0115 9758810 to book or email enquiries@foodanddrinkforum.co.uk

Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), The Food and Drink iNet co-ordinates innovation support for businesses, universities and individuals working in the food and drink sector in the East Midlands. It has developed an effective network to encourage the collaboration of academic expertise and knowledge, and local food and drink business innovation needs.


It aims to build on the tradition of innovation in the food and drink industry in the region by helping to create opportunities to develop knowledge and skills, and to help research, develop and implement new products, markets, services and processes.


The Food and Drink iNet is managed by a consortium, led by The Food and Drink Forum and including Nottingham Trent University, The University of Lincoln, and The University of Nottingham. It is based at Southglade Food Park, Nottingham, with advisors covering the East Midlands region.


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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011

as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘the world’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking 2011, a league table of the most environmentally-friendly higher education institutions.



The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 40,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fund-raising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. For more details, visit: www.nottingham.ac.uk/impactcampaign

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power.

The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Award for Higher and Further Education in 2011, for its research on global food security. More news from the University at: www.nottingham.ac.uk/news

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Programme, which runs from 2007-13, is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development.

The ERDF objectives for England are:

  • Promoting innovation and knowledge transfer
  • Stimulating enterprise and supporting successful business
  • Ensuring sustainable development, production and consumption
  • Building sustainable communities
  • Improving accessibility and connectivity (for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly only — as part of their Convergence Programme).

The programme is delivered and overseen by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

For more information visit www.communities.gov.uk/erdf

Story credits

More information is available from Food and Drink iNet director Richard Worrall on +44 (0)845 521 2066; or Dr Ian Fisk, The University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 951 6037, ian.fisk@nottingham.ac.uk; or Louise Duffield, Perfect 10 PR, Nottingham, on behalf of the Food and Drink iNet on +44 (0)115 8462953, +44 (0)7787 552 647, louise@perfect10pr.co.uk

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