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Fifteen food majors pledge to reduce fat, salt & sugar from offerings
Thursday, 12 July, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Ashwani Maindola and Shraddha Joshi
Fifteen food majors pledged to reduce fat, salt and sugar from their products in support of the Eat Right Movement, which was initiated by FSSAI, the country’s apex food regulator, and held at its headquarters in New Delhi on Tuesday.

The company that pledged to work towards evaluating their portfolio and reformulating their products to reduce fat, sugar and salt include Britannia, Bikarnervala, Bagrry's, Del Monte, Haldiram's, ITC, Kraft Heinz, Kellogg's, Marico, Mapro, MTR, Nestlé, Patanjali, HUL and Weikfield.

Suresh Narayanan, chairman and managing director, Nestle India, said, “Nestle is already working on ways to reduce sodium, sugars and saturated fats from its products. We’re committed to an average six per cent reduction in added sugar, an average 10 per cent reduction in salt and about 2.5 per cent reduction in total fat in our relevant product categories by 2020.”

Britannia pledged that it will reduce sugar and sodium by five per cent per serve size across its product portfolio over the next three years. In its pledge HUL said, by 2020, 75 per cent of its food portfolio will meet salt levels to enable intakes of 5g per day, which is a benchmark recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

ITC also added that it is targeting a total reduction of 10 per cent in salt in three-fourth of its current snack and instant noodle portfolio in a phased manner by 2023 from the current levels.

Kellogg's India pledged to reduce sugar on an average by 10-15 per cent and sodium by 10-30 per cent in its ready-to-eat cereals by 2020.

Patanjali’s Acharya Balkrishna said, “Patanjali is ready to reformulate its product to fit in the required levels of salt sugar and fats. It added that it will be developing a sugar-free chyawanprash for diabetic patients and will also try and cut down sugar levels by 3-5 per cent in its existing chyawanprash product.”

Pawan Kumar Agarwal, chief executive officer, said, “It was to inculcate the habit of consuming Thoda Kam, fight the battle between heart and brain and to limit the intake of fat, salt, sugar in people’s diets.”

“The growing consensus amongst industry members on the importance of promoting eating right was evidenced by the commitments made by companies across the food chain,” he added.

“While the edible oil industry, bakeries and halwais committed to phase out trans-fats by 2022 (India@75: Freedom from trans-fats by 2022), food majors pledged to reformulate packaged foods to reduce the level of salt, sugar and saturated fat,” stated Agarwal.

“The food services sector promised to provide healthier food options and introduce menu labelling, even as major food retail players including e-commerce players agreed to promote healthier food options and responsible retail practices,” he added.

Portal launch
At the parallel event that took place at JW Marriott Juhu, Mumbai, National Award-winning Hindi film actor and anti-high fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) campaign brand ambassador Rajkummar Rao launched the television commercial (TVC) for The Eat Right Movement, with the message #AajseThodakam and The Eat Right Movement portal, a repository of information about, ideas for and benefits of reducing the consumption of foods high in fat, sugar and salt for the general public.

The website will act as an interface between nutrition and food safety experts and citizens. It will provide credible and authentic information like healthy tips by experts, nutritious recipes, learning about nutritious labelling, etc.

Sharing his views on the initiative, Sudhir Senapati, executive director, food business, HUL, said, “India is considered as a country that does not eat healthy, and it is the responsibility of the concerned authority to do something about the same.”

“The Eat Right Movement is an very good move to do mass awareness. We all have to keep in mind three important learning to reduce the consumption of HFSS in people,” he added.

“Firstly, there should be simple and clear labelling on the product. Secondly, science and technology should be used to reduce consumption of HFSS, and thirdly, good nutritional habits must be communicated to people,” Senapati said.

He added, “We have decided to reduce the sugar in our ice cream product by 2022. Also we will do the reduction of salt in our products.”

Celebrity chef Varun Inamdar, who was present at the launch, appreciated the FSSAI initiative, and expressed his happiness to get associated with the initiative. He has developed special recipes for FSSAI for this campaign.
 
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