​Excess salt intake increases blood pressure and high blood pressure is one of the major risk factors for heart disease. In Norway we eat double the recommended amount of salt. About three-quarters of the salt we consume comes from packaged, prepared and restaurant foods.  A population-wide reduction in intake of salt is regarded as one of the «best buys» to reduce the incidence and burden of non-communicable diseases (WHO Global status report on noncommunicable diseases 2010 (who.int).

To stimulate action on salt reduction in food products and served meals, a national Salt Partnership is started.

The Salt Partnership's objectives and organisation

About three-quarters of the average salt intake come from industrially processed foods and food served at restaurants or catering establishments. A reduction of the salt content in food we buy or are served will therefore make a major difference to public health. The salt intake in Norway shall be reduced by 15 percent by 2018 and by 30 percent by 2025.

Objectives

The principal objective of the Salt Partnership is to implement the process of reducing salt in food products and food served in order to achieve the goal of a 15 percent reduction in the population's salt intake by 2018 and a 30 % reduction by 2025. The Salt Partnership has the goal of encouraging producers to reduce the salt content in food and served food, as well as increasing public awareness about salt and health. In addition, skills development, research and development assignments, monitoring the salt content in foods, labelling of the salt content in food products  are also important tasks.

Partners and organisation

The Salt partnership consists of enterprises in the food industry, the hotel, restaurant and catering industry, trade organisations and associations, research groups, interest groups and health authorities.

The Partnership is organised through a steering committee and 6 working groups:

  • Bread and cereal products
  • Meat products
  • Fish products
  • Other Foods
  • Dairy & Edible Fats
  • Hotel, Restaurant and Catering

The interdisciplinary working groups developed the cooperation agreement, plan for skills development and salt reduction targets for about 100 product groups.

 

The Partnership's areas of cooperation and input

  • Reduction of salt content in food: The parties in the food industry shall work towards a goal where the salt content in the various food categories is at the same level or lower than the salt reduction targets stated.
  • Reduction of salt content in food served (canteens, restaurants, kiosks, petrol stations, convenience stores) by means of training kitchen staff and empowering consumers.
  • Sharing knowledge and expertise. The parties shall work to Increase awareness of and knowledge about the importance of salt for public health among consumers, healthcare personnel, producers and suppliers of food and other providers of information on nutrition.
  • Monitoring the Partnership's achievements. The parties shall develop and implement a universal system for monitoring salt content in food categories, drinks and meals.  The partnership shall also follow up the development in knowledge and attitudes regarding the use of salt in the food industry and in the population.

Salt reduction targets

Bread and cereal products

 Food category (main and sub-categories)Salt targets (g salt/100 g product)
1 ​Fresh bread​0,9
2 ​Frozen baked goods​1,1*
3 Shelf-stable bread products​1,1*
4 Baguettes​1,2*
5 ​Crispbread​1,0
6 ​Bread and crispbread with fillings
(includes crispbread with salt topping)
​1,3
7 Flour and cake mixes​-
​7.1 Flour mix​0,9
​7.2 Cake mix​0,9
​8 Breakfast cereals and other cereals​-
8.1 Muesli (breakfast cereals)​0,3
​8.2 Other breakfast cereals-
​8.2.1 Plain and flavoured with berries/honey/yoghurt​0,9
​8.2.2 Flavoured with cocoa and chocolate​0,7
​8.3 Dry porridge mix​0,6
​8.4 Cereal bars​0,3

* These product groups are dominated by imports from the EU. The Norwegian market is small compared with most of the producers in the EU and, due to low volumes, has limited ability to influence changes in recipes. The EU objective for these categories is 1.5 g of salt per 100 g of product. Therefore, a goal of 1.2 g per 100 g can be considered ambitious.

Meat products

 Food category (main and sub-categories)Salt targets (g salt/100 g product)
​9. Minced meat/prepared meat​0,8
​10. ​Hamburgers​​0,9*
​11. Forcemeat​​1,6
​​12. Sausages​​1,7
13. Meatballs and meat patties​​1,7
​14. Cold cuts​​1,9
15. ​Liver pâté​​1,6
​16. Salted, spiced, marinated meat​-
16.1 Brine injected products 1,0
16.2 Spiced/marinated1,5
17. Salted and smoked meat-
17.1 ​Bacon, cured pork​2,2
​17.2 Other products (for example, summer ham)2,0
18. Dry-fermented sausages (produced in Norway)​5,0
19. Dry-cured ham (produced in Norway)​8,0
​20. Dry-cured leg of lamb/mutton​9,0

   * The salt content is monitored in the raw mixture/product.

Fish products

​ Food category (main and sub-categories) *Salt targets (g salt/100 g product)
21. Spiced and/or marinated fish​0,8
​22. Lightly salted fish​1,4
23. ​Fresh and frozen fish products
(Quenelle, fish pudding, fish cakes, fish burgers, salmon pâté)
​1,4
​24. Breaded/battered fish products​-
​24.1 Regular breading/batter​0,7
​24.2 Tempura-style batter (due to use of sodium bicarbonate / baking powder)​1,0
​25. Hot and cold smoked fish products from red and white fish
(this group includes smoked salmon, gravlax, hot smoked mackerel, cold smoked mackerel, peppered mackerel, hot smoked sliced fish fillets, cold smoked sliced fish fillets etc.)
​-
25.1 ​Cold-smoked fish products​3,0
25.2 Hot-smoked fish products2,0
26. Shellfish and molluscs-​
26.1 Shrimp in brine​2,4
​26.2 Other products in brine​1,7
27. Fish toppings and spreads​-
27.1 Sliced toppings​2,5
​27.2 Semi-preserved fish toppings. This group includes:​-
27.2.1 Pickled herring and spiced herring​3,0
27.2.2 ​Anchovies, fermented herring in brine (apetittsild)​7,3
27.3 Canned fish and fish products (this group includes fully preserved products such as canned mackerel in tomato sauce, canned sardines, tuna in jelly or water, canned mussels, fish roe products etc.)​1,0
27.4 Preserved fish roe products and cod roe paste​-
​​27.4.1 Boiled fish roe​1,4
27.4.2 Sugared/salted roe products – cod roe paste​5,2
28. Dried and salted fish/salted fish (the amounts apply for ready-to-eat products)​Instructions**

* Fishery products, i.e. salt water and freshwater animals and mussels that have no added salt and are not included in the salt reduction targets. Processed products that are gutted, have had the heads removed, are cut into slices, filleted and minced are also not included.

** Information to consumers. For example, preparation of instructions and/or cooking advice with recommending that the dried and salted cod is soaked in water for a longer time.

Dairy and edible fats

 Food category (main and sub-categories)Salt targets (g salt/100 g product)
29. Cheese​-
29.1 Soft, medium-hard and hard cheese (includes mozzarella)​1,2
​29.2 Soft, unripened cheese​-
29.2.1 Natural​0,8
29.2.2 Added flavour​1,0
​29.3 Cottage cheese​0,4
29.4 Mould ripened cheese​-
​29.4.1 White​1,5
​29.4.2 Blue​2,5
29.5 ​Processed cheeses/processed cheese spreads​2,0
​29.6 Pultost (sour milk cheese)​2,1
​29.7 Salad cheeses (feta etc.)​2,5
​29.8 Analogue products (for example, «pizza toppings» such as grated cheese with added melting products and potato starch (not only as an anti-caking agent) and «toasting cheese» such as sliced processed cheese)​1,2
​30. Edible fats​-
​30.1 Butter​1,0
30.2 Margarines and margarine/butter blends​-
30.2.1 Table margarines – full fat ​1,0
30.2.2 Table margarines – low fat​1,0
30.2.3 Margarines for baking/frying​1,0

Other foods

 

31. Ready meals

​ Food category (main and sub-categories)Salt targets (g salt/100 g product)
31.1 Ready meals – deep frozen-​
31.1.1 ​Pizza with salty toppings1,25​
​31.1.2 ​Pizza without salty toppings​1,0
31.1.3 ​Wrap/rolls1,2​
​31.1.4 ​Ready-to-eat soups​0,8
31.1.5 ​Dinner and lunch meals (one-pan meals, tray/oven meals, casserole meals)​0,8
​31.1.6 Semi-prepared meals (ready-made dishes that are not intended as complete meals, but as part of a dinner/lunch – for example, pizza base, meat/fish in sauce, vegetarian side dishes, meat substitutes, couscous, pilaf, falafel etc.)​1,3
31.1.7 ​Side dishes​-
31.1.7.1 Flavoured potato products (mashed potatoes, roast potatoes, various vegetables etc.)​0,6
​31.1.7.2 Vegetables for stir frying​0,4
31.2 ​Ready meals – refrigerated​-
​31.2.1 Ready-to-eat soups, chicken, fish, meat and vegetarian meals​0,8
31.2.2 ​Wraps/sandwiches​0,9
31.2.3 ​​Dinner and lunch meals (quick/portion meals, pasta meals)​0,8
31.2.4 Semi-prepared meals/dinner components (ready-made dishes that are not intended to be complete meals, but a component of dinner/lunch – for example, pizza base, meat/fish in sauce, vegetarian meals, meat substitutes, couscous, pilaf, falafel etc.)​1,3
31.2.5 Side dishes (mash/stew, one-pan vegetables)​0,8
​31.2.6 ​Porridge, pre-prepared (ready-to-eat, without accompaniments)​0,3
31.3 Ready meals – dried goods-​
31.3.1 Dinner and lunch meals (pasta meals, oven dishes, light meals, casseroles, meal kits (ready-to-eat))​0,8
31.3.2 Side dishes (mash/stew etc.)​0,5

 

32. Dressing 

​ Food category (main and sub-categories)Salt targets (g salt/100 g product)
32.1 Mayonnaise-
32.1.1 Full fat mayonnaise 0,6
32.1.2 Low fat mayonnaise1,0
32.2 Mayonnaise-based dressings, crème fraîche and oil and vinegar dressings (vinaigrettes, remoulade etc.)1,7
32.3 Ketchup​1,7
32.4 Mustard​1,2
32.5 Dips (wet)1,1

 

33. Flavouring and accompaniments

 Food category (main and sub-categories)Salt targets (g salt/100 g product)
33.1 Broth and bouillon (includes all forms, i.e. powder, block/cube, jelly, and liquid/fond)0,8
33.2 Spice mixes-
33.2.1 Mexican spice mix (Taco mix etc.)15,0
33.2.2  Other spice mixes16,5
33.3 Dressing base – dried goods (this group includes dressing mix and dip (ready-to-eat))​1,1

 

34. Sauces and marinades

 Food category (main and sub-categories)Salt targets (g salt/100 g product)
34.1 ​Sauces​-
34.1.1 ​Sauces – accompaniments​1,0
34.1.2 ​Dinner sauces (powder and ready-to-eat) ​0,9
34.1.3 ​ Tomato sauce / oriental sauce (including pasta sauces)​0,9
34.2 Pesto ​2,3
34.3 ​Soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce etc. ​13,5
34.4. ​Marinades / BBQ marinade / glaze​6,7

 

35. Mayonnaise-based salads

 Food category (main and sub-categories)Salt targets (g salt/100 g product)
 35.1 Salad spreads-
35.1.1 with meat1,3
35.1.2 with fish or shellfish1,2
35.1.3 with vegetables/fruit0,9
35.2 Side dish salads​0,7

 

36. Snacks

​ Food category (main and sub-categories)Salt targets (g salt/100 g product)
36.1 ​Standard potato chips, including  corn and wheat chips (includes potato chips and chips in all varieties of flavours)​1,4
36.2 ​Extruded snacks (includes extruded snacks in all varieties of flavours, for example, cheese puffs, popcorn etc.)​2,0
​36.3 Expanded snacks (pellet) (includes all expanded snacks, for example, prawn crackers, pork rinds, twists etc.)​2,8
36.4 Salted nuts​1,1

 

37. Refined wheat-based baked goods

 Food category (main and sub-categories)Salt targets (g salt/100 g product)
​37.1 Cakes/cookies, pastries, waffles/muffins etc. – ready baked​0,8
37.2 ​Sweet biscuits​0,7
37.3 ​Spiced and salted/crackers​1,4
37.4 ​Cakes – deep frozen​0,5

 

38. Canned food

 Food category (main and sub-categories)Salt targets (g salt/100 g product)
38.1 ​Beans in sauce​0,6
38.2 ​Canned vegetables ​-
38.2.1 ​ Canned vegetables (includes all preserved vegetables, and excludes processed peas (air dried peas) and sauerkraut, including
extra salted vegetables (see Category 38.2.2.))
​0,9
38.2.2 ​ Extra-salted canned vegetables (includes extra-salted preserved vegetables such as, for example, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, chilli and jalapeños)​3,5

Norwegian Salt Action Plan

Norway has included the global NCD targets in a national NCD strategy and the target is a 30 % reduction of the salt intake by 2025.

The Norwegian Directorate of Health published an action plan on salt reduction in June 2014 (in Norwegian only). It is based on the National Council for Nutrition's Strategy for reducing the public's salt intake.  

Goals

The goals of the Action Plan are a 15 percent reduction in the public's salt intake by 2018 and a 30 percent reduction by 2025. This corresponds to a reduction of salt intake of 1,5 gram per day and 3 grams, respectively. The long term goal is 5 grams per day.

Areas of the action plan

The Action Plan describes initiatives within the following focus areas:

Salt reduction is an international goal

Salt is high on the international health agenda. This is reflected in strategies, goals and initiatives for reducing salt consumption and in important WHO documents such as the Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs (who.int, pdf). These documents have been approved at a global or European and Nordic level and shall be followed up by the respective countries.

Norway has agreed to the WHO's goal of reducing non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in a separate Norwegian NCD strategy (regjeringen.no). Among the goals are a 25 percent reduction in the instances of high blood pressure and a 30 percent reduction in the average salt intake by 2025. In the WHO's framework for monitoring the NCD plan, the salt intake is one of the indicators.

Sist faglig oppdatert: 3. november 2016