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J Nutr. 2011 Dec;141(12):2249-55. doi: 10.3945/jn.111.141366. Epub 2011 Nov 2.

A salt reduction of 50% in bread does not decrease bread consumption or increase sodium intake by the choice of sandwich fillings.

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  • 1Product Design and Quality Management Group, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands.


Bread is a major contributor to sodium intake in many countries. Reducing the salt (NaCl) content in bread might be an effective way to reduce overall sodium intake. The objectives of this study were to examine the effects of gradually lowering the salt content in brown bread, with and without flavor compensation (KCl and yeast extract), on bread consumption and sodium intake compensation by choice of sandwich fillings. A total of 116 participants (age: 21 ± 3 y; BMI: 22 ± 2 kg/m²) consumed a buffet-style breakfast on weekdays for 4 wk. Participants received either regular bread (control group: n = 39), bread whose salt content was gradually lowered each week by 0, 31, 52, and 67% (reduced group: n = 38), or bread whose salt content was also gradually lowered each week but which was also flavor compensated (compensated group: n = 39). A reduction of up to 52% of salt in bread did not lead to lower consumption of bread compared to the control (P = 0.57), whereas less bread was consumed when salt was reduced by 67% (P = 0.006). When bread was flavor compensated, however, a reduction of 67% did not lead to lower consumption (P = 0.69). Salt reduction in bread (with and without flavor compensation) did not induce sodium intake compensation (P = 0.31). In conclusion, a salt reduction of up to 52% in bread or even up to 67% in flavor-compensated bread neither affected bread consumption nor choice of sandwich fillings.

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