The firm said yesterday that the reduction by half can be reached by its new line of salt replacers and salt substitutes. There has been mounting pressure on the industry to cut salt from foods as the science stacks up linking too much of the mineral to numerous health conditions. Low AFS has said its replacement system can lower salt without sacrificing taste. Salt replacers contain some salt, while salt substitutes do not, the firm explained. "By simply replacing salt with these ingredients in existing formulations, sodium can be significantly reduced in a wide range of products such as snacks, sauces, gravies, dressings, spices and seasonings," a spokesperson said. AFS Salt Replacer T#16 and AFS Sea Salt Replacer T#2 are made with natural flavors and are allergen free. They are also designed to minimize the bitterness which is common to many salt replacers. For labeling purposes, Sea Salt Replacer T#2 is made with a small amount of sea salt but contains 50 percent less sodium, AFS said. The firm has also developed a salt substitute - NTF-25 - which can replace as much as half of the salt, and is suitable for a variety of foods. Health A report published in the journal The Lancet, released in December, said reducing salt intake around the world by 15 percent could prevent almost nine million deaths between 2006 and 2015. Numerous scientists are convinced that high salt intake is responsible for increasing blood pressure, a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) - a disease that causes almost 50 per cent of deaths in Europe. Yet salt reduction remains a major challenge, not only in terms of taste but also formulation, as salt is a vitally important compound in food manufacturing. One of the problems associated with cutting salt is that it may affect the taste of the finished food product. Salt reduction is a major target of food manufacturers since salt intake in excess of 5g a day (the WHO recommended maximum) has been linked to an increased risk of hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. Salt remains a vitally important compound in food manufacturing, in terms of taste and preservation. In processed meat products, for example, salt is involved in activating proteins to increase water-binding activity, improves the binding and textural properties of proteins, helps with the formation of stable batters with fat, and also extends shelf-life with its anti-microbacterial effects. Other companies have been looking to develop salt replacers, including Mastertaste and PepsiCo Salt is also a vital nutrient and is necessary for the body to function, but campaigners for salt reduction, like the Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) consider the average daily salt consumption in the western world, between 10 and 12g, far too high.