NINETEEN of France's biggest food manufacturers have signed a deal with the government promising to cut the amount of salt they use in products.
Brands including Findus, McCain and Fleury-Michon are among those that have agreed to the recipe changes between now and 2012.
Average salt content will fall between 5% and 25% depending on the product concerned.
The reduction will be made gradually over the coming years to make the taste change less noticeable to consumers.
Other groups taking part in the scheme include soup manufacturer Maggi, cooking oil and vinaigrette brand Lesieur and cheesemaker P'tit Louis.
The deal with manufacturers is part of the health ministry's Plan National Nutrition Santé, which aims to cut individuals' average salt consumption to 6g a day.
The average person has 8g a day at present, down from 9.5g in 2002.
According to the ministry, over-use of salt causes 25,000 premature deaths each year from heart disease and diabetes.
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