Around 400 food and beverage companies in Spain have signed an agreement with the Ministry of Health to reduce the levels of sugar, saturated fats and salt in their products by 2020.
It will mean that around 4,000 different food and beverage items across 13 different food groups will contain on average around 10% less of the most harmful of ingredients.
The food groups include pastries, soft drinks, meat products, cereals, creams, fruit nectars, cookies, ice cream, some breads, ready meals, sauces and dairy products.
In total there were 398 companies who committed to reducing the levels with a total of 20 agreements being signed. Some of the major companies are McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Bimbo, Telepizza, Kelloggs, PepsiCo, Danone, Findus and Campofrío among others.
The move will mean that companies from 5 different sectors such as distribution, manufacturing, collective catering, modern catering and automatic distribution (vending machines) will have to adhere to the plan.
Salt is a major concern when it comes to our health. Fortunately the companies have agreed to reduce the level of salt by 16%, 5% in trans fats and 10% in meat products including sausages and packaged meats such as cooked turkey and ham. Other products will also be targeted such as crisps and other salty snacks.
Excess sugar consumption will also be tackled with the aim to reduce it by around 18% in mayonnaise, 10% in dairy products such as smoothies and yoghurts and 5% in items such as ketchups, sliced breads and croissants.
Finally, saturated fats will also come under the spotlight being another major concern for the health ministry. Under the agreement, companies will reduce the levels of saturated fats in food items by around 10% in microwave popcorn, chicken nuggets and chips, with another 5% reduced from cookies, biscuits and cakes.