The Health Ministry and the Brazilian Association of Food Industry (ABIA), joined by 70 percent of the companies in the sector, announced today (Jun. 29) that 14,893 tons of sodium have been removed from processed foods.
The goal, established as part of a deal between the government and ABIA, is to have firms voluntarily eliminate 28,562 tons of salt from food products by 2020. Figures were released in the first phase of the agreement, introduced in 2011. According to the ministry, targets are progressive, and the targets set for the first phase are already being considered for renewal.
The first part of the deal, signed in April 2011, set national targets for the reduction of sodium in instant pasta, sliced bread, and mini hotdog buns. Close to 1,859 tons of salt were slashed in this stage.
In October 2011, a reduction in salt was agreed for french fries, snacks, cakes and cake mixes, mayonnaise and cookies. The cut totaled 5,793 tons.
Numbers for the third stage of the agreement, signed in August 2012, which included a reduction in salt for sauces, bouillons, breakfast cereals, vegetable margarine by 2015, showed a reduction of 7,241 tons of salt.
The fourth phase, whose deal was signed in November 2013, stipulates a slash in sodium for breaded foods, mozzarella, soups, requeijão cremoso, hamburgers, and cased meats, like sausages. The results for this stage are to be announced by the end of this year.
The Brazilian Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) (ANVISA) also released data revealing that, in 2014, 94.5% of the 22 companies surveyed had met their targets in the third stage and announced it on their labels. The other companies, the ministry reported, were notified and subsequently followed suit.
According to the Health Ministry, the average Brazilian consumes 12 grams of sodium everyday—more than twice as much as the amount recommended by the World Health Organization, a daily five grams.
Translated by Fabrício Ferreira
Fonte: Agência Brasil.