The recipe for baguettes in France has contained less salt since October. A measure to combat the excessive consumption of salt with the risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases, as the country’s bakery association announced. The aim is to reduce the salt content in the overall diet of people in France.

Bread, which plays an important role in the French diet, is responsible for 20 percent of the daily salt intake.

Specifically, the salt content per 100 grams of baguette and other types of light bread will be reduced from 1.5 to 1.4 grams; for varieties such as wholemeal or sourdough bread, the content will fall from 1.4 to 1.3 grams, as the association announced. Last year there was already an initial reduction in the salt content of bread. A review showed that 82 percent of the breads met the upper limit for salt. Now 339 products from all corners of France are to be examined again to check what the salt content is.

Even if avoiding a little salt in bread seems simple to the layperson, this is a challenge for the baking industry, as the bakery association emphasized. Salt not only serves for taste, but also has an influence on the properties of the dough, the quality of the bread, the volume, the color and the shelf life. But there are alternative solutions – for example active yeast to compensate for the salt reduction, the association explained.

In Germany, a national strategy to reduce salt content in processed products was launched at the end of 2018, but there are no strict limits for the baking industry. Bakers in Germany also see the use of sourdough as an answer to reducing salt, but this is less common in France.