Project partners met in Budapest for their 4th consortium meeting. One of the highlights of the meeting was Amanda Cleary's (University of Surrey) presentation on her work mapping the regulatory framework and decision-making processes at EU level. Liisa Lähteenmäki (Aarhus University) presented results from the desk research on the role of EU-funded research on substantiating risk reduction and new evidence based claims.
Živa Korošec and Igor Pravst of the Nutrition Institute in Slovenia published a paper entitled "Assessing the Average Sodium Content of Prepacked Foods with Nutrition Declarations: The Importance of Sales Data" in the journal Nutrients. The primary objective was to test a new approach for assessing the sales-weighted average sodium content of pre-packed foods on the market. They show that a combination of 12-month food sales data provided by food retailers covering the majority of the national market and a comprehensive food composition database compiled using food labelling data represent a robust and cost-effective approach to assessing the sales-weighted average sodium content of pre-packed foods. Food categories with the highest sodium content were processed meats (particularly dry cured meat), ready meals (especially frozen pizza) and cheese. The results show that in most investigated food categories, market leaders in the Slovenian market have lower sodium contents than the category average. The proposed method represents an excellent tool for monitoring sodium content in the food supply. Analyses of the use of salt-related claims on foods on the market showed that only 1% of the investigated food products (whole sample) were labelled with sodium-related nutrition claims, and no sodium-related health claims were found. The sodium-related claims most frequently observed were low sodium and no added sodium, mainly found on products in the category of breakfast cereals.