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New app to help avoid high salt content in food

Date: March 03, 2014

Category: Industry news


A campaign is underway that seeks to help consumers cut the amount of ‘hidden’ salt in their diets.

Such high amounts of salt in a human diet can lead to many health issues, with the large intake of sodium chloride having been medically linked to both high blood pressure and hypertension. It can also increase the chances of having a stroke or heart attack.

While in the past, extra salt had to be added to meals by hand, nowadays it is common practice to add it during the manufacturing process, which can lead to large amounts of hidden salt in food produce that people may not think would have much at all.

While this means it can often be important to read the labels of food products before buying, in some cases nutritional information can hard to decipher, with different measurements and percentages being used between brands.

Therefore, CASH has added a new feature to its existing FoodSwitch mobile app, which it has termed SaltSwitch.

With the app, a shopper can scan the bar code on the labels of up to 90,000 food items in store using the camera of a smartphone. The device will then be able to suggest similar food items to the user that are lower in salt than the produce scanned. It is hoped that this will lead to healthier choices being made by the consumer.

CASH’s research found that many common foods are unexpectedly high in salt. These include tinned baked beans and garlic bread slices. The maximum advised amount for salt intake is 6g per day – although the campaign’s research indicated that 8.1g is consumed on average by the public.