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Action on Salt

Gluten Free Snacks (The Times Exclusive)

CASH recently carried out a survey of gluten free savoury snack foods, as part of an exclusive feature with The Times (Available Here: Gluten-Free Snacks Are Five Times Saltier)

The full range of savoury gluten free snacks - including crisps, popcorn and pretzels - were surveyed from all major supermarkets. Gluten Free Final Draft Data [PDF 328KB] link to view the full data.

In total, 106 products were included in the survey. Only 33% of these had full colour-coded front of pack nutrition labelling. Therefore, although coeliacs trust foods available in the free from aisle and those marked as gluten free, they are unable to make informed decisions when choosing snacks if nutrition information is not clearly marked on the product. This highlights a need for mandatory front of pack nutrition labelling to be introduced using a clear and consistent approach. If front of pack labelling was present, 35% would have a red label for salt (high in salt) and 65% would have an amber label for salt.

Gluten free products with far less salt were found for some types of snack, with up to an 80% difference in the salt content between the highest and lowest products:

The salt content (per 100g) of each product in a particular product category was also compared to the salt content (per 100g) of a randomly chosen gluten-containing equivalent product of that category. Notable differences in salt content include:

  • Schar Gluten Free Pretzels (3.0/100g), twice the salt of Sainsbury’s Salted Pretzels (1.5g/100g)
  • Mrs Crimble’s Original Cheese Crackers (3.5/100g), 2.5 times the salt of Ritz Original Crackers (1.38/100g)
  • The Snack Organisation Sweet Chilli Rice Crackers (2.6/100g), 3 times as salty as Aldi’s The Foodie Market Crunchy Chilli Rice Snacks (0.84/100g)
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