Baguettes are set to change recipe in France from October 1 as part of a move to improve public health.
The national confederation of bakeries and French patisseries has lowered the amount of salt permitted in the bread for the second time in two years.
From October 1, the measure of salt allowed in baguettes will be 1.4g per 100g in “everyday or traditional” bread, and 1.3g/100g for the “special breads”.
In 2022 the sector already committed to 1.5g/100g which the confederation of bakeries said was met by 82%.
Bakeries will be required to adapt their recipes to meet the new requirements.
The reduction of salt can be overcome by using alternatives such as active yeasts and yeast extracts to complete the rising process, according to the confederation.
This battle to reduce salt is not specific to France - the World Health Organization has urged its member states to reduce their daily salt consumption by 30% by 2025.
On average an adult should consume 5g (one teaspoon) of salt per day.
However in France, people consume on average 2-3g above this.
Targeting bread is a strategic attempt to rebalance the French diet; 10 billion baguettes are sold per year in France according to the federation of bakeries and in 2021 France consumed on average 105g of bread per day.
Vascular doctor and nutritionist Faïza Bossy praised the decision in July during an interview with BFMTV, saying: “It’s great news for this French signature dish. In particular because the baguette is a simple product, made with flour water and salt which comes together to make a healthy final product.”
The reduction of salt also aims to limit the risks of high blood pressure, which has been described as a silent but deadly condition by Dr Bossy.
The confederation is set to keep a close eye on the change in recipe. It is hoped that since bakeries adapted well to the first change, they are likely to adapt well to this second one.